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Grant funds new youth sports program

• Jan 25, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Parents have a new opportunity to help their young children develop sports skills through a unique national program that is now available through the Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority (NORA).

The Start Smart program was developed through the National Alliance for Youth Sports and began Jan. 21 at Lakeshore Middle School in Grand Haven. However, registrations are still being accepted for the class, which runs from 9-9:45 Saturday mornings.

“We are excited about being chosen to be part of this national program,” NORA Recreation Coordinator Jill Vander Stel said. “We are always looking for innovative ways to help improve youth sports in safe, healthy and fun ways.”

The eight-week instructional program helps parents or another significant adult work one-on-one with their children ages 3-4 while teaching them basic sport mechanics: throwing, catching, kicking and batting. At each session, an instructor will lead parents and children through stations that focus on the same skills, building on what was learned in the previous week.

The program helps prepare children for organized youth sports by using safe and fun equipment to teach them the basic motor skills needed to compete. The equipment was made possible by a grant from the National Alliance for Youth Sports.

A variety of innovative products will be utilized to enhance the child’s skill development. They include Koosh balls, foam bats and balls, age-appropriate baseball gloves, batting tees, and cloth-covered soccer balls.

NORA has waived all late fees to encourage parents to take this opportunity to participate in the new class. You can register at the NORA office, located at 1415 S. Beechtree St. in Grand Haven; or call 616-850-5125 to register over the phone.

The cost of the program is $42 for residents and $57 for nonresidents.

More information can be found online at nora.ghaps.org.

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