TO SAY that the inaugural Upward Sports basketball and cheerleading league was a success would definitely be understating the case.
The Martins Ferry Christian Church's undertaking last year was nothing short of amazing. More than 150 children participated while some 60 adults volunteered their time in many different roles to help the league run smoothly.
We commend Director Brian Hastings on a feel-good story that provided safe and wholesome fun in a time when such is not easy to find. Now Hastings is laying the groundwork for year two in the league and is anticipating a spike in participants, possibly topping 200.
Such a high number isn't surprising. We have heard nothing but positives about the Upward Sports league, so it only stands to reason more youths and their parents want to get on board.
The loop's success is due, in part, to competitive balance. Players go through workouts, enabling coaches to evenly divide the talent. Powerhouses are not welcome.
Secondly, players aren't burdened by the drudgery of frequent practices. Once up and running, one session per week is all that is scheduled.
Also, the entire league is steeped in a family atmosphere. With family members either coaching, officiating or working concessions. The games are good, clean fun with emphasis more on participation than winning.
With an already popular event expected to experience marked growth this season, we encourage more volunteers to give their time and caring to a most refreshing concept.
We deliver kudos to all those who made the Upward Sports League a tremendous success a year ago.
We also challenge more individuals to help make year two a smashing encore.