Experiencing Growth: YMCA’s sports participation increases

From last year’s winter sports to this year’s, participation in both basketball and indoor soccer has grown. This is especially true for basketball.
“I’ve only been here a year,” said Paxton Tallent, Sports Director at the Shuford YMCA. “I started at the midpoint of basketball season last year. We maybe had 50 kids. We are up 60 kids. We are up a couple in indoor soccer as well.”
The YMCA offers a variety of sports, including basketball, soccer, volleyball, kickball, t-ball, baseball and football. They offer these sports in a variety of different age groups, including kids age 3-18 and adults.
Also offered are various sports camps throughout the summer as well.
Tallent believes that the biggest reason for this huge expansion with sports at the YMCA is their ability to reach out to the school systems.
“We’ve tried to get involved with the schools,” Tallent said. “They are our biggest draws. It is where most of our kids come from.”
Scott Lydler, who volunteer coaches his son, Braxton, in the 3-4 year old division, has many reasons why he enjoys becoming involved with the YMCA and their sports.
“This is my first year as a coach and son’s first as a player,” Lydler said. “You just become involved in the community.
Also impacting Lydler’s decision to join the YMCA was their mission statement, which is “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”
“They have a good mission statement and fundamental religious-based program,” Lydler said. “It teaches the kids sportsmanship as well.”
The YMCA is currently looking ahead to new seasons, as youth outdoor soccer and adult volleyball signups are being held until Feb. 13.
Baseball and youth volleyball seasons are also ahead and will take place beginning at the beginning of April with signups being held tentatively at the top of March.
Contact the Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. YMCA at 828-464-6130 for more information on these programs or to signup.