Camp Pendleton, Calif. -- Marine Corps Community Services Camp Pendleton Youth Sports kicks off its 2015 spring soccer and basketball seasons with registration open now.
Children must be five-years-old as of April 4, 2015 to play on a youth sports team with registration costing $54 per child with a $5 discount for each additional child registered. The spring youth sports seasons run from March 4 to May 16, 2015.
According to their website, the youth sports program provides a positive sports experience for children living on base.
“It allows them to connect with other children on the base who are also coming from a military background and are going through a lot of the same situations,” said Shawn Burlingame, a Camp Pendleton youth sports coordinator. “Participating in sports can also help teach them respect, sportsmanship and teamwork, which will help better them in the future.”
Children ages 5-18 may participate in the spring soccer season, while the spring basketball season is open to children ages 5-14.
The teams are formed taking into consideration the age, gender, experience and skill level of the children, and are divided between the front gate, San Onofre and Mainside housing areas on base, said Burlingame.
“It’s a level playing field,” said Burlingame. “The age brackets are broken up into groups of two to three years across the board. We also divide them among players who have never played the sport before and mix them with those who have experience. We ensure that all the kids in the program have an enjoyable season and are able to foster teamwork amongst each other. Our coaches are also very knowledgeable and are there to teach the kids how to get better at the sport.”
Parents are also welcome to participate in the youth sports teams as coaches. Sign-ups to coach are free and three spots are available, one head and two assistant coaches, per team. Coaches assigned to a team will need to attend a coaches’ meeting to be certified and must pass a complete background check before being allowed to coach.
“I feel volunteering teaches a lot of the coaches about responsibility, taking care of someone other than themselves, communication and how to be a good role model,” said Burlingame. “The kids look up to them.”
The 2015 spring season starts on March 14, 2015. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve and spaces are filling up fast.
For more information contact the Camp Pendleton Youth Sports manager at (760)725-4188.