2010-01-13 / Community

Upward Sports Ministry

Over 100 young people participate in new ministry
by Stephanie Odom

Play begins with prayer. Play begins with prayer. Colquitt First Baptist Church is proud to sponsor the Upward Sports Ministry for the first time in Colquitt.

What is the Upward experience? It is a chance to introduce children to Jesus Christ by creating opportunities to serve through sports. The primary focus of Upward is to develop the winner in every child, not just a select few.

Dr. Carl Marshall, pastor of First Baptist Church, presented the church with a challenge to reach the children of this community by giving the opportunity for children in grades K-5 through sixth grade to participate in a sports ministry. The children practice one night a week and for only one hour. During the practice, they are taught differ- ent skills for basketball and cheerleading, and the coaches share a devotion and scripture during this time. We have around 100 kids participating in the Upward basketball and cheerleading programs. Upward programs are structured, so children are taught characteristics such as sportsmanship, kindness, and building self-esteem.

The Upward program is designed to give children and their families a positive sports experience.

The first Upward games began on Saturday, January 9. Several church members have committed their time to volunteer toward this wonderful sports ministry. Ronnie McNease, Phillip Warren, Duren Williams and Paul McGowan officiated all of the games. They did a tremendous job explaining to the kids why calls were made by using positive reinforcement.

Mr. Glen Sheffield shared a devotion with the spectators during each of the games’ half-times. Upward Head coaches were trained at the First Baptist Church by the Upward League director, Stephanie Odom.

Please come out and support our kids as they enjoy the Upward experience. Games will be on every Saturday in January and February.

The first game begins at 9:00 a.m. with K-5, first and second grade. Third and fourth graders play at 10:00 a.m., and fifth and sixth graders play at 11:00 a.m.

See 100s of photos of new sports ministry on our website <www.millercountyliberal. com>

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