Upward basketball, cheerleading program plans for new season

The Upward basketball and cheerleading program is preparing for its 18th season at Mighty Rivers Regional Worship Center in Cairo.   

Organizers said in a news release that the Upward league “offers opportunities to introduce children and their families to the love of Jesus Christ while using a basketball to bring them together.” 

This year’s theme is “Rise Up,” which is based on scripture, Nehemiah 2:18b: “And they said let us rise up and build, so they strengthened their hands for the good work.” 

Every year the league has between 150 and 200 young people who sign up to play Upward basketball. 

When families sign up, it is not just for basketball but organizers said that “they also sign up for the total experience, including being witnessed to and hearing testimonies during devotions or seeing it in action by the way a coach acts or reacts during a game.” 

The league reported that it has opportunities for “energetic and compassionate individuals to volunteer as coaches, assistant coaches and referees.” 

Upward officials noted that those who want to help with the program “should have a love for kids, basketball and Jesus Christ.”    

Coaching responsibilities will include attendance and participation at the following season events:

A coach training session one, Saturday, Jan. 7.

Practice one, Saturday, Jan. 7.

Seven practices for one hour, one night a week from Jan. 9 to March 10.

Coach training session two, Saturday, Jan. 29.

Eight game days for one hour periods from Feb. 4 to March 11.

Awards night, Saturday, March 18.

Upward Sunday, Sunday, March 19.

Volunteer dinner, Tuesday, March 21.

Other opportunities are available to serve through praying as a prayer partner, presenting a 5- to 8-minute halftime devotion during game days and/or providing baked goods or assistance in the concession area. 

The league noted that referees are a big need every year: if an individual’s schedules does not accommodate a weekly commitment, the referee role might be a better fit.  

Referees can volunteer for one game for the season or one game each game day.

To learn more about the program, or about being a volunteer, call Kelli at 618-306-0247, text Heather at 618-306-0578 or call the church office at 618-734-0319.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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