The squeaking of shoes. The shouting of coaches. The rhythmic thump of a well-dribbled balls. The iconic sounds of basketball reverberate off the walls at Elite Sports Network, where coaches help young players hone their on-court craft with engaging training sessions. Whether they're focused on grabbing rebounds or working on their pull-up jumpers, players build skills in play sessions with others of their skill level, keeping sessions even and effective.
The players aren't the only ones learning new skills. Through the coach training program, trainers-to-be work in real coaching situations, learning how to lead young athletes through specific plays while also encouraging their growth as a player.
Scheduled in cities across the country, the Color Mania 5K Run offers runners of all ages the chance to sprint, jog, or mosey their way across a course splattered with prismatic color. As participants wind their way toward the finish line, packs of color throwers target them with a barrage of biodegradable, cornstarch-based dyes, turning their once-white attire into a kaleidoscopic fashion statement. The race organizers don't keep track of time; the point is not to win the race but to enjoy oneself. Each participant will receive a Color Mania T-shirt, race bib, and gifts from race sponsors. Participants aged 7 and younger can run for free with a guardian-signed waiver, but will not receive a T-shirt, bib, or gifts.
When Kayleigh Scott was offered the reins to the preschool cheerleading company where she once coached, she seized the opportunity as a chance to reinvent the business. Kayleigh, who has 11 years of cheer experience, added competitive and noncompetitive classes that embrace all ages, although the business specializes in competitive cheerleading. Recently, she unveiled the new gym that her labor of love, Alpha Athletics, now calls home. The staff—with 45 years of combined experience—facilitates teamwork and fun at classes and camps that range from basic cheer and tumbling to the challenging all-star cheerleading squad.
At Lake Wheeler Park, dragons glide through the clear blue water. These aren't your ordinary dragons—team-driven dragon boats create a fearsome image out on the lake and the Raleigh Dragon Boat Club promotes their freedom to paddle. At weekend practices, boaters sharpen their skills and cut through the water relying only on their arms, provided paddles, and the one teammate who was born with flippers for hands. Dragon Boat Club outings offer great alternatives to traditional retreat and rope course team building events and encourage team cooperative skills through fun and water-friendly adventures.
Runners race down the road, leaving splashes of color behind them and on one another. Such is the scene at every Sparkle Me Wild, a color run event incorporating a whole lot of sparkle.
During the 5K race itself, they arm their runners with packets of pure color, made from a mix of glitter and dyed, organic cornstarch.
Though Sparkle Me Wild is a fun way for families to cut loose together, it also supports local charities, as well as GO FAR (Go Out For A Run), a national charity that fights childhood obesity.
It's not every 5K run in which participants look like they've been tie-dyed by the end of it. But most runs are not this much fun either. As runners put one foot in front of the other during Color My Run, volunteers cover them with colorful dust, adding extra joy and a bit of silliness to an event where your finishing time isn't everything. That sense of joy also extends to the charitable recipient of each event as well, which is often a children's hospital.