The Aug. 20 event gives kids a chance to learn from college athletes and coaches

George Fox University Athletics is collaborating with the Chehalem Park and Recreation District for a day of play and learning for local kids. "Bruin Sports Day" is set for 12:30 to 3 p.m. Aug. 20 at the GFU athletic facilities, and kids aged second through eighth grade are invited to attend the free camp.

Young athletes will have a chance to learn from and be instructed by college athletes and coaches from GFU across 11 different sports.

It is not an all-encompassing day, but rather one where kids can pick the sport they love and learn even more about it from some of the best athletes and coaches in town.

Missy Downs, events and campaign manager for GFU, said the camp is free to all and that kids just have to register on the CPRD website.

The opportunity for kids is a unique one, she said, and it is important for the university and community alike to be connected in this way through athletics.

The camp creates future fans of the school's athletic department, but more importantly it allows young people to learn from and feel connected with the athletes and coaches who work right in their backyard, she said.

"We invite children across the community to come and be involved in a day where they interact with athletes, learn from college coaches and have fun," Downs added. "It's a way to engage the community with our university, make it fun and make it free."

Kids register for one sport of their choosing and options include football, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, cheerleading and more. Once they choose, they will have an opportunity to play and learn on the fields and in the gyms that college athletes compete in. That experience, Downs said, is fun for the kids and allows the GFU student-athletes to give back to the community they call home during college.

It is the fifth year of Bruin Sports Day and, according to Downs, the experience provides kids with a chance to be inspired by athletes and coaches right in their community.

The lessons learned are important, but so is knowing that quality sports programs exist not too far from where they have grown up or go to school.

"Our university is in the center of Newberg and the Chehalem Park and Rec District is really helpful in engaging those people," she said. "Instead of having the university separate from our community, it's really giving back and connecting with those people.

"I think it's a great opportunity for kids to see people who inspire them," Downs continued. "College coaches are great people for young athletes to meet, too, because they can impact them with life lessons and an impact that lasts for future generations."

No cost is associated with Bruin Sports Day, but registration is required to participate, and further information on that can be found at the CPRD website:

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