By Alex Bourquein
At Central Baptist Church in College Station, group sports such as flag football, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and cheer are offered to children ages 4 to 12 years old. Central Sports first began in 2012 by offering volleyball, while offering other sports through the Upwards Sports program. In November 2015, Central Baptist left the Upwards Sports program and expanded their athletics options within Central Sports.
“The purpose behind the sports is about Jesus,” says Bill Wise, family activities minister at Central Baptist. “We want to incorporate Him in the practices and games, and focus on the kids having fun.” In order to incorporate biblical teachings with sports, players have devotionals with their team and with their parents during practices and games.
There are currently 466 children registered in the soccer league, but only 20 to 30 percent of the children attend Central Baptist. Central Sports focuses more on enjoyment of the game and the acquisition of athletic skills rather than winning or losing.
“One thing when people hear church sports, they don’t think competitive,” says Wise. “But it’s a threefold mission we have here: teaching the kids about Jesus, having fun, and getting better at the game. Obviously, winning is a lot more fun than losing, but we are here to teach them that it’s not about winning at all cost and how to lose with respect while showing good sportsmanship.”
For Central Sports, registration is no different than with city leagues and other club sports in the area. The church has a director of leadership who recruits parents and volunteers to run the programs. Volunteers are usually sought out as referees and the team coaches are generally parents who volunteer their time to Central Sports. Every adult involved in the program goes through an extensive background check, takes a child protection class, and is approved by church staff.
Registering for Fall Sports
Registration for flag football and volleyball for the 2017 season opens on May 1. Football is open to boys and girls; practices once a week on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursdays at either 5:30pm or 6:30pm; and games are on Saturdays. Volleyball is girls only from grades first through sixth; practices are once a week on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday at either 5:30pm or 6:30pm; and games are on Saturdays. All participants must attend one of the three evaluation periods for football and volleyball.
To register for the 2017 Season, visit www.centralbcs.org or call (979) 776-9977.