The West Austin Youth Association opens its doors to everyone, regardless of their ability, zip code, or financial status. It hosts a number of youth sports programs that run the gamut from lacrosse to basketball to soccer, as well as camps dedicated to other pastimes, including watching movies, dancing, and conducting science experiments. And each day, they welcome kids to burn off excess energy during open-gym sessions, which are held in the massive gymnasium.
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.
Inside the climate-controlled arena or outdoor spaces at SoccerZone, a full-size soccer field and a practice field challenge players to up their game, though facilities can vary by location. The soccer center offers classes, camps, and tournaments year-round for both kids and adults, and budding soccer stars can sign up for leagues.
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 grants 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. 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, Sports International also offers special academies for passing, receiving, and defensive backs, 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.
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