Most camp counselors can teach children how to tie-dye a T-shirt or braid a friendship bracelet. Very few, however, have experienced the exhilaration of vaulting into the end zone for a goal-line touchdown or intercepting a game-winning pass in front of thousands of rabid football fans. Across the country, Sports International grant participants the opportunity to learn firsthand from professional athletes, whose gridiron battle scars have been forged by bell-ringing collisions with fearless opponents and reckless mascots on motorcycles.
Since 1983, the organization has partnered with veteran high-school coaches and pros, such as Pro Bowl linebackers C.J. Mosley and Ryan Kerrigan, and Super Bowl champion, 4 time Pro Bowler and All Pro-safety Lawyer Milloy. In those years, the camp has schooled some 99,000 alumni, including current NFL quarterback Byron Leftwich. Coaches break campers into groups by age, position, and ability and run practices that are competitive yet fun and supportive. For in-depth focus on the specific techniques of skill-position players, the camp also offers special academies for passing and receiving as well as kicking, punting, long snapping, and cooler lifting for Gatorade victory showers.
For a basketball player growing up in Charlotte, the pinnacle of sporting success probably includes playing on the court of the Time Warner Cable Arena. However, the home of the Hornets is accessible even before signing with a big college or surviving the NBA draft. Run by the motivated trainers and coaches, Hornets Hoops youth basketball clinics expose kids to professional-level basketball techniques during intensive sessions throughout the year. On game days or during holiday breaks, youth ages 7-16 work alongside Hornets Hoops staff to perfect their skills on the same court their idols use. Different clinics focus different skill sets including shooting, five-on-five teams, and advanced techniques. After learning how to play themselves, kids can watch the masters in action with a ticket to a home game provided for each participant.
In association with Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Myers Park Wellness Center invites people of all ages and backgrounds into its facility to work out their minds, bodies, and spirits. Exercisers looking to shed a few pounds or simply stay in shape can lift weights, shoot hoops on the basketball court, or sweat side-by-side with their peers during fitness classes that include Pilates, yoga, and spinning. Sessions with a personal trainer guide visitors toward their fitness goals, and massage therapy soothes their muscles after intense workouts. The wellness center also hosts plenty of activities for youngsters, including basketball clinics, golf lessons, and extreme-sports camps.
An acronym for Fabulous Art Buying Opportunity, FABO began as just that: an art store. It still is today, only along with art, the
Park Road shop quenches thirst and quiets hunger, too. Inside, artwork from nearly 60 local artists?including paintings, photographs, jewelery, and pottery?sprawls across blue-gray and wine-colored walls. Visitors kick back in this funky atmosphere to sip on coffee, espresso, and even a carefully selected roster of wines and beers, some from local breweries. When stomachs begin to rumble, guests can also munch on muffins, bagels, and other bakery treats made to eat while on the move or during a secret detour from a nearby marathon.
Ruby's Gift peddle a plethora of paintings, jewelry, and more, all handcrafted by local artists. Guests can adorn free cartilage with a pair of earrings ($30+) and necklaces ($60+), or nourish neighboring pores with lip balms ($3), soaps ($6), and lotions ($9). Speed up housewarming without rubbing wooden chairs together by acquiring one of the many colorful paintings, which vary in price but tend to cost upward of $100. Parents are free to dock young ones at convenient kids' play areas located within both Ruby’s Gift locations.