Faith-based Skills & Sportsmanship

. December 31, 2014.

In children’s sports leagues, it’s hard to find balance between competition and actual play time. Upward Basketball, a national youth sports program run in Toledo by Emmanuel Baptist Church, is a faith-based league that emphasizes skills and sportsmanship by allowing all kids a chance to play. The competition is real, but not overwhelming. Families commit to one practice and one game per week during the season, which is January to April. Evaluations are held in December to help organizers build teams that are as equal as possible. The faith-based aspect comes in two forms: devotions for players at practices and spectators at halftime during games. Upward also focuses on the relationship between players, coaches, parents and referees, and those positive relationships build positive results on and off the court. Upward is for boys age kindergarten through fourth grade and girls kindergarten through fifth grade. “Kids gain confidence as they play,” said Dave Rodgers, pastor at Emmanuel. “We want them to play against as many different teams as possible.”

For more information or to register,