Written by: Savannah Baker, SportWORKS Officer, Sport for Newcomers Hamilton
May was a busy and exciting month at the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford. This month newcomer youth got to participate in 4 sport sessions, soccer x2, volleyball, and pickleball.
For the first two weeks of May, the newcomer youth got to participate in soccer sessions. The youth were all very excited about these sessions, as soccer was a familiar sport to many of them and the sessions gained so much interest that all 40 spots were taken for both sessions. The soccer sessions were hosted at Wentworth Sport Complex and their coaches led both of the sessions, catering to youth from beginner to advanced levels. For the first hour of each session, the coaches led the youth through drills to improve their ball control and enhance their skills. For the second hour of each session, the youth were broken into 4 teams and got to play a round-robin style tournament. The youth really enjoyed the soccer sessions and have been asking for more every day since!
The next session was a volleyball session. This session was a popular one as well, with all 12 spots filling immediately. The session was run by two very knowledgeable coaches from the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA). For the first hour of the session, the coaches taught the youth how to serve both underhand and overhand, how to pass, and how to hit the ball over the net at different angles. The youth all enjoyed the drills and picked up the skills quickly! For the second hour of the session, the youth were divided into two teams and they played a 6v6 scrimmage, using the skills that they had just learned. As the scrimmage went on, the youth got really into the game and it turned into a pretty competitive match with a lot of cheering and good rallies! This is another session that the youth have been asking for more of.
The final session of May was pickleball. Pickleball was a session that the youth were looking forward to as many of them had never played it before. This session was coached by a few members of Pickleball Hamilton. Unlike the other sessions, the pickleball session was majority drills and only 20 minutes of scrimmages. Since pickleball is a sport that was new to most of the youth, the coaches used the session to introduce them to the sport, go over the rules, and teach some important skills before they dove into any matches. Despite it being a new sport for most, the youth reported that they had a lot of fun during the session and most of them would want to play again if they had the opportunity!
Overall, May was a very successful month for the Sport 4 Newcomers program in Hamilton! The participation level this month has been amazing! We are looking to keep the momentum going into June, with lots of fun programs planned, including a Canadian Football session with the Hamilton TiCats CFL team, hosted at their stadium! Stay tuned!