BELOIT—The Stateline Family YMCA and the Beloit Memorial Athletic Department have a natural collaboration.
Beginning next week, they are starting to work together.
The two entities are combining to put on a youth football clinic, which will be held over the course of four days beginning Tuesday at the Beloit Boys and Girls Club.
YMCA sports coordinator LaRon Lofton said the collaboration makes a lot of sense.
“What we’ve heard over the years from the coaches is that they would love to have continuity between their youth sports programs and their programs,” Lofton said. “I’ve been pushing for us to work together for a while now. We have a lot of kids doing our sports programs now, so there’s no need for them to start all the way over and do their own thing.”
Beloit Memorial athletic director Joel Beard agreed that a partnership will be beneficial.
“The YMCA has carved out a niche here with their sports programs,” Beard said. “We want to make sure that we are partners in this deal and do everything possible to connect and engage with them. Especially with there being no sports right now, it’s a perfect opportunity to put together a camp like this and get kids active.”
The deadline for signing up for the camp is Sunday. The camp will operate on Tuesday and Thursday each of the next two weeks, culminating in a punt, pass and kick competition on Saturday, Oct. 3.
The camps will be separated by two groups: Fourth grade through sixth grade, and seventh through ninth, though Beard said they are still checking to see if ninth graders are eligible to participate.
“We’re still working with the coaches to find out exactly what type of drills we are going to do,” Lofton said. “But we’re trying to keep it non-contact and just work on some basic fundamentals like passing and catching, and maybe doing some blocking with the sled.”
Beard said this won’t be the last time the entities partner up.
“What we’re trying to do is build a culture, and that starts at the youth level,” Beard said. “The more synergy we can have with those programs and the coaches at the high school level, the better. At the end of the day, the way we’re going to be successful is by building that bridge. This was a good start.”
The Bat Cave has donated a t-shirt that will be given to each participant.