While many parents would like their kids to get outside and play this summer, sometimes the cost of recreational activities can put a wrench in that plan. The Turlock Church of Christ is offering a free youth sports league to help local families insure that their children are staying active, healthy and happy, all without financial strain.
“There was a concern that there wasn’t a lot for kids to do in Turlock activity wise,” said league director John McCranie. “We also realized that there are a lot of families who aren’t able to afford sports for their children, so we wanted to offer something free for kids to do without putting a financial burden on the family.”
This is the first year that the church is hosting a sports league, said McCranie. The league will be recreational in nature and non-competitive, focusing instead on personal performance, team building and character skills.
“We are trying to create an event where kids can have fun in a safe, secure place and learn some sports skills,” said McCranie.
Sports offered will include volleyball, kickball, soccer and flag football. From June 18 to July 9, volleyball will be available for those in fourth through eighth grade and those in kindergarten through third grade can participate in kickball. From July 16 to Aug. 6, soccer for grades PK through third will be available, as well as flag football for fourth through eighth grade. All sports will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
McCranie, who collaborated with Turlock Unified School District Director of Student Services on the league, said that it was a statement made by Gil Ogden that made him want to offer a free, fun way to keep kids busy.
“He said to me, ‘When our kids are not in school, they’re most likely going to be in a room watching a screen,” said McCranie. “So, we just ran with this idea and we’re really excited about it.”
Those who are interested in signing up for the free youth sports league can register online at www.turlockcoc.org or do so at the Turlock Church of Christ, 801 N. Tully Rd., on June 18. The sports league also needs volunteers to help coach, referee and provide snacks and drinks for the children. If you would like to help, contact McCranie at 209-542-2520.