As a kid, making new friends was as easy as joining the local Little League team, or going out on the playground during recess. But with their full-time jobs, committed relationships, and crippling fear of the monkey bars, adults don’t have it that easy. That’s where Texas Sports & Social Club steps in, organizing recreational co-ed sports leagues for people aged 21 and older.
Season after season, Texas SSC gives grown-ups the chance to stay active both physically and socially. It fashions leagues for flag football, softball, and kickball, and partners with community parks to host games. Participants can get in on the action by joining existing teams as free agents, or even by recruiting their friends and dearest sock puppets to forge their own squad.
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 Football Camps 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 three-time Pro Bowl running back Priest Holmes, All-Pro linebacker Brian Cushing, and Super Bowl champion–cornerback Terrell Thomas. In those years, the camp has schooled some 96,000 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.
Jermaine "JC" Collier has faced a lot of opponents over the years. The founder, head trainer, and overall fitness guru at JC Ultimate Training has competed in basketball, football, and boxing. Today though, he hopes to take down a more serious foe—obesity in children and adults. Mr. Collier works towards this goal through year-round classes in sports conditioning and cardio boxing. He also trains clients during one-on-one sessions, and he even travels to offices, churches, and other above-water locations to lead onsite fitness sessions.
Collier believes fitness isn't all burning calories and building muscle; it has the potential to bring people together. To that end, JC Ultimate Training hosts a quarterly "Unity in the Community" event, which consists of sports tournaments and leagues.