You can learn more from a sport camp than just how to play the sport.
Following that idea the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Alberta Conference, in partnership with the U.S. Consulate and Canadian University College, is bringing the fi rst annual Man Up Basketball Camp to Lacombe.
Lyle Notice, associate youth director for the Alberta Conference and event organizer, said that not only will Man Up be teaching players great basketball skills, the hope is to have the camp teach youth how to become leaders as well.
“We’re trying to build courageous young leaders,” said Notice. “We’re using basketball as a tool.”
Notice went on to say that for him, basketball was a great tool while he was growing up. It kept him out of trouble and taught him skills that he learned to apply elsewhere in life.
“What I learned from basketball was how to be a team player,” said Notice. He added that in basketball, a team must work together to be successful and the same is true with life.
“In life, there is no man who is an island, you are going to have to work together with people.”
He added that basketball is almost like a microcosm and shows a person will always have to deal with other people whether they want to or not.
“At work or at play, you are always going to be in contact with somebody,” said Notice. “Sharing your strengths with someone else’s strengths can only make you stronger.”
Sports in general, not just basketball, can be used to teach life lessons and appeal to all kinds of learners, said Notice.
“I think everybody can learn through sports.”
He added that he couldn’t begin to count the lessons he had learned through basketball, his favourite sport, but there was one thing Notice’s coach told him that has stuck with him his entire life.
“My coach said, ‘Listen, you are a leader, and if you learn how to lead your team on the court, you will learn how to lead in life’.”
Notice said the phrase ‘Man up’ is a term used on the court to remind players to take care of their responsibilities in the game. He said it was chosen as the name for the camp to encourage people to take that practice off the court as well.
The camp will feature Olympian Gerald Kazanowski, who played for Team Canada in the 80s and former Toronto Raptors NBA star Jerome Williams as coaches as well as mentors for the camp.
Notice said that each day of the camp will begin with some motivational speaking from the coaches about life lessons and what youth can learn from basketball other than the skills of the sport itself.
“We’re just totally excited that we have this caliber of players for the camp,” said Notice.
He added that, in addition to learning life lessons and basketball skills, participants in the camp will also take part in other activities like rock climbing and canoeing.
Man Up aims to become an annual event for Lacombe, said Notice. He said that he was able to take advantage of a basketball camp every summer and the opportunity made him a better player and a better person. By offering an annual camp in Lacombe he hopes to give youth in the area the same advantage.
“This is just another thing that would be a benefit to this community and to this province.”
The Man Up Basketball Camp will run from May 30 until June 2. It is open to players between the ages of 10 and 19. Notice said about 45 players have signed up so far with participants coming from as far away as Yellowknife.