Destination Discovery – Sports

This spring we held a 6 week Destination Discovery – Sports series. Each week was focused on learning the basics of a new sport. We touched on basketball, soccer, volleyball, frisbee, kickball, and pickleball.

The attendance each week varied from 5 – 10 participants plus siblings, parents, and volunteers. Speaking of volunteers, this program would not have been possible without them. Kudos to Cassie our St Ambrose Intern for planning and leading the program along with Maude, Jaide, Elizabeth, and Alec for assisting. Maude & Jaide are also interns from St Ambrose, Elizabeth is an intern from Augustana, and Alec recently graduated from Augustana.

In addition to the volunteers, the owner of the building was generous in allowing us to use the gym space. Many thanks to John from JP Sports and Justin with Primetime Apparel. These two men and companies have become great friends and supporters of GiGi’s. Also, a special thank you to our Site Director’s husband Brian for being present each week as the building liaison.

Now a little about the program and participants…

Each week the sport was different but the routine was similar.

Each night there was:

  1. warm ups and stretching in a circle
  2. introduction of the first skill
  3. practice of the skill
  4. “monkey in the middle” game using the skill learned
  5. additional skills introduced and practiced
  6. game with all attendees using skills that they had practiced
  7. ending with a “Go GiGi’s” in a circle

Those that attended multiple weeks knew the routine.

Some participants only attended one night to learn more about a specific sports while others added multiple nights. Abby was the all star and attended all 6 weeks of the program and they drive a good distance to make that happen. She was not excited about coming the first night but the night we had to cancel due to the weather she was bummed.

Our younger participants amazed us each week with their progress and learning of new skills. This program was great practice for listening, following directions, and so much more!

Our teens and adults truly enjoyed the socialization and getting competitive with their peers too! While there was some competition there was also a lot of support and cheering each other on when it was another person’s turn to serve, kick, or had a great volley.

The Destination Discovery program goals are to support the development of fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social skills and language through purposeful play and peer to peer interaction in a casual and fun setting. This program also brings families together to share experiences and build relationships. All of which were observed and enjoyed during the spring sports series.  

Parents had this to say about the program:

I thought this was overall a great series! Can’t say enough good things about the location or the student volunteers running the program!

This program was awesome! We would definitely participate again.

Getting the whole family involved and meeting new people!

Volunteers had this to say:

I had so much fun at Sports! I was worried about having such a variety of ages in the participants, but everyone worked together so beautifully. There were many unique sports and activities chosen that even I had never heard of or participated in before. The teamwork during the games at the end of practice was my favorite part to watch! Maude

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