King City Community Park will be humming with activity this summer as the Skyhawks Sports Academy begins sports clinics for kids. It's a bold project that was presented at a recent city council meeting.
Mike Alarcon, a Skyhawks franchise owner, describes Skyhawks as a youth sports organization that focuses primarily on summer camps for youngsters from 3½ to 14 years of age.
Skyhawks, which is based out of Spokane, Washington, operates in over 30 states.
"Our motto is 'teaching life skills through sports,'" Alarcon said.
He explained, "Skyhawks is not the place that you would go to if you want your child to become an elite-level athlete who is hoping to go professional in their sport. We are the organization you would partner with if you want to get your child involved in a sport, maybe for the first time, or they just scratched the surface at the beginner level."
The Skyhawks curriculum goes to the intermediate level.
Skyhawks clinics cover several popular sports, including baseball, basketball, soccer and football.
Alarcon added, "In addition to all of the core sports, we also offer golf, tennis, cheerleading and more."
Final details on the partnership have not yet been formalized, but the plan is to have summer camps begin at King City Community Park the week of June 15 through June 19.
"All of our summer camps run Monday through Friday," Alarcon said. Half-day camps run from 9 a.m. to noon and full-day camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. "For King City specifically, we have two camps scheduled to start that first week, which is the week of June 15."
Plans are for a full-day soccer camp (ages 7 to 12) alongside a half-day soccer camp for ages 4 to 7.
The inaugural Skyhawks program in King City would run throughout the summer, but not every week. The sports academy would conclude with a tennis camp scheduled from Aug. 17 through Aug. 21.
Once the program is formalized, details will be available on the Skyhawks website. From the website, parents will be able to find registration information and a listing of the activities. A dedicated customer service phone number is also available at 1-800-804-3509.
Alarcon is impressed with King City Community Park and believes the venue will be ideal for Skyhawks summer events.
"I'm very excited about the improvements to the park that have happened over the last year," Alarcon, who lives in King City with his wife, said. "One of the biggest things they did was fix some drainage issues so that you can now use the walking path year-round, which is fantastic."
Alarcon continued, "Even though the park isn't necessarily the biggest park compared to some, from a square-footage standpoint, it's absolutely fantastic for Skyhawks."
Alarcon admits that kids these days tend to spend too much time on their devices. The hope with Skyhawks is to get kids outside in the fresh air.
"In my personal opinion, I think we're fighting that uphill battle (to get kids outside), and I think that battle is just getting harder and harder as we get more addicted to the technology that we have," Alarcon said. "Parents are putting them (kids) into a summer camp with us because they want to get them out there."
Alarcon said the aim of Skyhawks is to allow youngsters to have fun.
"We're not the place you go to become an elite athlete per se, but we're going to make sure that you're learning some fundamentals," he said. "You're learning some of those skills of sports, but you're having a whole lot of fun along the way."
With younger age groups, "we do a lot of camps for 4 to 6-year-olds and 4 to 7-year-olds," Alarcon noted. "A lot of times we have kids in those camps who, maybe, haven't even played the sport yet. We savor that opportunity to be able to give them a fun introduction to that sport."
King City Mayor Ken Gibson is hoping the program proves successful.
"I think it's important for kids to get out, exercise, get in shape and stay in shape," Gibson said. "This is another opportunity for kids to be active and do some things that they can truly enjoy. I'm very excited."
Alarcon said watching the students improve along the way is "hugely satisfying" for him.
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