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Summer camps are a great way for kids to stay active

Ah, the days of summer. Summertime means a lot of things, but to the youth of Franklin County, the months of June and July mean a respite from all of those classes.

Don’t get me wrong, those classes and getting an education in general are very important.

But to every kids I have ever met, the summer meant now school, and that was all they needed.

We are now living in the age of media overload thanks to the progress made by television, computers, the Internet and video games during the last two generations.

Couple that with the heat wave that always strikes the South, particularly Alabama, during the summer, and it is easy for kids to justify staying indoors in the air conditioning while staying online or on the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, etc.

Physical activity is very important for the health of each child, yet some of these factors will keep some kids from getting an adequate amount of time running around and having fun outdoors.

Programs like Play 60 started by the National Football League aim at getting kids to get outside and play. The goal is to have children get enough physical activity to be fit and healthy, something which our culture  has been increasingly moving away from.

There is quite possibly no better motivation to get out, be active and have fun like sports.

This is the stance taken by many coaches and programs across Franklin County.

Donnie Roberts has a girls’ basketball camp every year at Red Bay. Not only does he teach camp participants the fundamentals of the game, but he provides the girls with an opportunity to get out of the house and have fun playing basketball.

He also has a chance to affect the next generation of players that he will likely see one day as a head coach, so it is a win-win for everyone.

Belgreen head girls’ basketball coach is finishing up his girls’ summer basketball camp today.

Age groups there start at first grade and go through high school, so pretty much any age of young girl can participate.

The Russellville Parks and Recreation Association partner with Russellville High School and head boys’ varsity basketball coach Michael Smith to put on a camp for boys and girls age eight and under all the way to age 14.

This provides a large group of boys and girls a chance to get out and have fun playing basketball.

Russellville head football coach Michael Jackson put on a youth football camp early on during the summer, and former Phil Campbell head football coach Jason Hill did the same in his community.

The participants got to learn the basics of football, the most popular sport in the South. The kids also had a chance to stay active, while the coaches got to help groom a future generation of varsity players.

Kids need exercise to stay healthy, and what better way to keep children active than allowing them to participate in a sports summer camp. There are nothing but benefits to be had by coaches and campers alike during the sports programs put on while kids are out of school.