Summer Sports Camp Fosters Fun and Fitness

Summer Sports Camp Fosters Fun and Fitness photo thumbnail123291

Edmund W. Miles Middle School was full activity during the first two weeks of summer as it played host to the annual sports camp. Attendance each day averaged more than 50 children who came for basketball, baseball, cheerleading, football, soccer, softball and volleyball.

The eight-day camp was open to all children living within the district’s boundaries who are entering fourth, fifth and sixth grade. Program coordinator Kimberly Thompson said it gave students who attend different schools an opportunity to create new friendships while also giving them some exercise.

The activities were supervised by Amityville coaches with support from volunteer middle and high school students, who were able to earn community service hours. For the coaches, it allowed them to meet some of their future athletes and teach the fundamentals of the different sports. They promoted physical fitness by showing children exercises that could be done at home.

John Katsigiorgis, who led the soccer camp, said his goal was foster a love of athletics while keeping the children active. He taught them valuable communication skills which not only will lead them to success on the soccer field but in all aspects of their lives. Every day, he arrived at camp with energy and enthusiasm.

“If I’m having fun, it’s going to be contagious and they’re going to have fun,” Mr. Katsigiorgis said. 

Baseball coach Robert Claps said each day consisted of about an hour of skill development, including hitting, throwing, catching and fielding. Children could then hone those skills in game play.

Enrollment was up significantly this year in the cheerleading camp. Coaches Amanda O’Connell and Kelly Wilson attributed that to its growing popularity in Amityville, as this coming year will be the third competition season for the junior varsity team and first for a middle school squad. As their skills progressed, the girls developed a routine for the last day of camp that incorporated dancing, jumping and stunting. 

This was the first year that parents could register their children online for the free camp. Breakfast and lunch were provided each day along with water breaks. 

“The children really enjoy this,” Ms. Thompson said. “They’re the future of Amityville athletics.”