After-School All-Stars is the perfect way to encourage a lifelong love of sports in young people. Springfield Public Schools and Willamalane have teamed up to make the athletic pursuit easy. Willamalane provides the coaches and the schools provide the venue, making it simple for kids to extend their athletic education in the convenience of their own schools.
One of our After-School All-Stars coaches, Jordan Yoss, started playing sports when he was just two or three years old. So he appreciates how having basketball, soccer and track easily accessible after school can make a huge difference. “They can go straight from their classroom to After-School All-Stars,” Jordan said. “They don’t need to find a ride to go to a sports center, they don’t need to go anywhere unfamiliar, and they’re still getting all the benefits of being part of a sports team.”
Athletics has a multitude of benefits for young people. “Not only do they improve agility, balance and hand-eye coordination, but they’re also making friends,” Jordan said. These programs serve kids who may be in different classrooms or even in different grades, so it’s a chance for kids with similar interests to connect when they may not otherwise have the opportunity.
“At the end of track season last year, we had a track meet. We had entirely different schools coming together, and these kids who have never met before become fast friends,” Jordan said. “Sports are a great atmosphere for kids to have fun and be competitive.”
Jordan loves watching his students improve over the course of a season. “At the end-of-season track meet, we can see the physical evidence of their improvement — their jumps, their sprints, their hurdles and throwing are improving,” he said. “I’ve had instances where kids really surprise me. On the first day they’re struggling to get the concept down, and later on, they’re just nailing it.”
“Coaching kids and seeing what they get out of it is awesome. It’s so much fun,” he said, “And After-School All-Stars just makes it so easy for kids to get involved.”