Playing the Field

For most kids, the first day of summer vacation was a long-anticipated day of adventure and freedom: A day to be spent playing video games, riding bikes, visiting friends, or swimming in the farm pond, but for a few lucky kids it was the first day of the 2017 Wade Hampton Rotary Track and Field Summer Camp. As each child arrived they were greeted with a warm, welcoming smile by the dynamic duo known as the Hanna Alliance, the husband and wife team of Coaches Rob and Myriah Hanna. After their exuberant greeting, the shrill tone of the whistle signaled the camp was about to begin.  As the gaggle of excited kids were corralled into a bubbling mass of energy, sitting in the green grass of the Wade Hampton High School track complex, the camp began with the introduction of the coaches and their assistants.

  Quickly the children were gathered in appropriate age groups and the physical activities began. Stretching, running in place, knee highs, lunges and scoops quickly got the muscles warmed up and the sweat running. Before long the kids were introduced to the different track and field events that most had only seen on TV, if they had watched the Summer Olympics. With patience and encouraging words, the coaches and assistants taught the children the skill sets that allowed them to toss the shotput, sling the discus, sail through the air at the long jump and powerfully explode from the blocks of the 100-meter sprint. With hair flying, sweat pouring and smiling faces, each child gave it their all.

Throughout the week the children worked hard to improve their performance, and it was evident to the parents in attendance during the camp track meet on Friday. As the events unfolded, the children demonstrated their newly learned skills as the proud parents joined the coaches and assistants in encouraging the children to do their best. The children responded with increased effort as they heard clapping and yelling from the gathered crowd. As the meet concluded and the week-long camp came to an end, the smiling faces, fists raised in victory, and tightly gripped ribbons gave testament to the enjoyment they felt after a week of fun and maximum effort.      

As a Parent, I would like to say thank you to Coaches Rob and Myriah Hanna and all of the individuals involved for their time and patience, but most of all I am thankful for causing my children to be in bed before 9pm this first week of summer.