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R.L. Strength and Conditioning to host basketball camp

T-L Photo/KAILEY CARPINO Bellaire Mayor Edward Marling, left, Marling’s wife Sandy Marling, R.L. Strength and Conditioning CEO Richard Leigh (center) and volunteers pose with students in the R.L. Strength and Conditioning program.

BELLAIRE — R.L. Strength and Conditioning will host a basketball camp from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 15-17 at the St. John Central Academy gymnasium.

R.L. Strength and Conditioning CEO Richard Leigh said that this is the first time R.L. Strength and Conditioning has hosted a basketball camp and he hopes to make it an annual event.

He said that over 70 children are already signed up. The camp is for all boys and girls that are school-aged.

Leigh said that the camp will help kids work on dribbling, shooting, fundamentals and defense.

Leigh said that he will be coaching alongside Greg Robey, Jose Davis, James Watts, Bill Schmitt Jr. and Everette Gray Jr. Leigh also noted that Remi Markos, a local basketball coach, will share his knowledge and experience with the children.

According to the R.L. Strength and Conditioning Facebook page, Markos is a college coach at Penn State York, a scout and a writer for prep hoops.

“The man loves the valley and community and absolutely is all about helping and guiding the youth. It’s an honor to have him at the camp to provide his knowledge and experience.”

DJ Mike Gallaher of M&E Entertainment will be providing music for the event.

Leigh said that all children who attend with receive a free camp shirt. The camp will also feature a three-point shootout and a foul shooting contest, and the winners will receive either cash or gift cards.

“We have the money, but we don’t know if it would be better on a gift card or just give the kid the money. Usually the kids just like money,” he said.

The cost to attend the camp is $10 per student.

“A lot of camps around here are a little bit expensive. We want to keep the camp at a low cost and try to bring in as many kids in the valley as possible,” Leigh said.

Leigh said that community members and local businesses have donated funds so that some students can attend the camp for free.

On Wednesday, he said that a community member recently donated $50 to the program, so the next five kids who sign up can attend the camp for free.

“It was like a rhythm. One community member gave five spots, and then one donated six and one donated 10, and then before you know we had like 40 free spots for the kids. The parents were real happy,” Leigh said.

Leigh said that the deadline to register is Monday.

“That way we can make sure we have all of the material we need for each kid,” he said.

Leigh said that anyone interested in signing up can contact him, his wife and vice president Keshauna Leigh or Bellaire Mayor Edward Marling.

According to a press release from R.L. Strength and Conditioning also hosts free training for all school-aged youth and currently supports 56 kids in the Ohio Valley. The program started in 2020 with only three children participating.

“Any kid in the valley that is at school age from kindergarten to senior year is welcome for free,” Leigh said.

The free training program takes place from 5-7 p.m. every Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to noon every other Saturday at Bellaire Presbyterian Church.

A press release from R.L. Strength and Conditioning stated: “Our mission is to give the kids something to do, hopefully keeping them out of trouble. Sometimes, all a kid needs is to fill a void. Over the years we have grown even bigger than keeping kids out of trouble, we have a lot of kids that range from simply needing something to do, just wanting to stay active, needing a place to fit in, help with mental health, etc.”

R.L. Strength and Conditioning moved to a new location last month and is now located at the Bellaire Presbyterian Church.

R.L. Strength and Conditioning will also have a full-size mascot in the coming weeks named Leo the Lion. Leigh plans for the mascot to make appearances at training events and in this year’s Christmas parade.

For more information, visit the R.L. Strength and Conditioning Facebook page or call 304-780-8436.

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