Competing for Fun

Community Education Coaches Gear Up for Another School Year
Friday Aug 9, 13
Community Education Coaches Gear Up for Another School Year

"It's only a game."

"Now, let's go out there and have some fun!"

"Is it great to win? You bet! But, it's more important to be good sports if you lose."

These are some of the comments you may hear the coaches say who volunteer their coaching skills to the BHM Community Education Bison Youth Sports Program. Community Education has been providing athletic opportunities for elementary and middle school age children for over 20 years. Each season, boys and girls have the chance to participate in a sport, learn the fundamentals of what it means to play as a part of a team, and most importantly, have fun doing it.

BHM Community Education Recreation Coordinator Todd Lunning has helped the program expand and grow over the last 14 years. Before each season, Lunning meets with the volunteer coaches (often parents) to stress his sports philosophy and review the code of ethics.  His emphasis is on having fun, being a positive role model, recognizing the skill level of the child and always making sure safety of the players is the number one priority.

Lunning says parents and coaches need to embrace the fun and joy the kids are having. "It's a game for the kids. Praise your child (don't yell) for the effort they made, and always remember it's just a game."

On average, each season there are about 500 students and 120 coaches who participate in the Bison Youth Sport Program. Here is a breakdown of the sports that are offered:

Football (boys)
Volleyball (girls)

Basketball (boys/girls)

T-ball (boys/girls)
Baseball (boys/girls)

There is also a number of sports camps offered in the summer that not only include all of the sports listed above, but also tennis, wrestling, swimming and gymnastics.

The practices, games and camps are organized for kids to learn the skills of the game, good sportsmanship, and how to be a team player. Remember, if you are coaching or watching from the sidelines, it's all about having fun and setting good, positive examples for the kids.

Lunning goes on to stress, "Youth sports is an avenue for a strong community. It brings people out of their homes, to a common place, to share in a similar experience. It allows families to feel connected to the community."