BRISTOL, Tenn. – Earlier this week members of the King University cheerleading and dance teams as well as other student-athletes and coaches had the opportunity to participate in Olympic Day at the YWCA. The Olympics are celebrated throughout the month of June, and the YWCA partners with the U.S. Olympic Committee to host this event.
Young girls from the YWCA summer program and the Boys and Girls Club of Virginia & Tennessee summer program took part in the event, which highlighted several Olympic events by introducing children ages 8-13 to basketball, agility, tennis, weightlifting, track, gymnastics, and dance. Over 20 King student-athletes and coaches helped work the stations to teach the girls about the different sports and their techniques, while others led the groups to each station and provided advice and encouragement along the way.
One of the Tornado that helped teach the young girls was cheerleading captain Jordan Smith.
"I think it was a great way to teach these young girls about various sports and let them know that there are many options out there for them to participate in sports, and hopefully the event will inspire them to get involved with athletics," Smith said. "Participating in some sort of athletics early is important not only to provide exercise, but it also opens up many opportunities with signing to play in college and even being on an Olympic team one day."
Along with the cheerleading and dance teams, student-athletes Haley Maloney (women's tennis) and Forrest Molinari (women's wrestling) as well as coaches Shelly Yount Strang and Amanda Williamson also helped out at the event.
"It was a privilege to work with local girls to increase their knowledge and interest in athletics," Williamson said. "I was able to impart knowledge of track and field, while having fun at the same time. We are called to serve others, so being able to serve the community while focusing on being active and healthy, was special!"
Olympic Day was one of the cheerleading and dance team's first volunteer events this summer, and they have enjoyed having the opportunity to partner with the YWCA to provide children with this fun experience and look forward to helping with this event in the future. July 12th you will have the opportunity to see the King University mascot, Twister, in Kingsport at the kickoff for Fun Fest. Later in July the cheer and dance teams will be volunteering with the Rise Up Camp at Celebration Church. This is an event that is similar to Olympic day but is week-long rather than a single day.