Summer vacation is almost here for the young people in our area. Already they are looking forward to those long days without school, without homework, and without the routine that the educational system imposes upon them. However, the excitement that many of those young people feel at the beginning of the holidays, quickly departs as the weeks go on, and every parent has heard their kids say "What are we gonna' do now?"
This summer brings a new activity to Carlyle that might just provide an answer to that cry of boredom. It's called "Centre of Excellence Summer Camps" and it's the brain-child of Dan Kasperski of Vibank. Dan is a world-class athlete and coach with an underlying desire to serve communities, and to positively impact young people through sport instruction, and he's coming to Carlyle with the encouragement of local businessman Ken King.
Dan's background is impressive. He is a former international pro athlete in baseball and hockey, Team Canada member, pro scout and multi-sport skills developer for groups like Hockey Canada, Sask Baseball, Sask Volleyball, Sask Hockey, Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and the Australian Institute of Sport. He has been mentored by some of the best people and groups in the world, and has in turn, used all that experience in training and mentoring others.
And it's not merely the technicalities of sport that Dan teaches, he saw that society was slowly moving away from the wonderful values and life skills that are inherent within sport, and he decided to do something about it. He created the Edge Principle Training System (EPTS) to teach essential life skills through sport, then merged two business ventures together to provide programming for everyone, regardless of gender, culture, religion or financial background.
Further evolution of his concept resulted in the Spirit of Excellence, a community initiative that partners with cities, leagues, associations, instructors and companies, to build stronger youth, families and communities by teaching life skills through sport, that's where Ken King comes into the picture.
King knew right away that Dan was someone who could add value to people and communities. He saw within both the man and his mission, the potential of bringing something great to Carlyle and the surrounding area. Not only would Dan's summer camp program improve the games of baseball and softball locally, but the coming together of participants would enhance community spirit and even add to the economics of local businesses.
These thoughts are certainly echoed by Steve Schultz, who coaches a girl's softball team, and is also deeply involved with the local minor ball board. Schultz said "Anything that gets the kids more involved, and gets them top-flight instruction, can't be a bad thing for the teams and the local community."
The camps are being arranged for Aug. 2 to 4 and Aug. 9 to 11. Activities will include baseball and softball in the mornings, swimming after lunch, flag football and ultimate Frisbee in the afternoon, and a ball game to finish the day. Age groups will be eight to 10 years, and 11 to 14 years, with both boys and girls being welcome. There is a 24 player limit per age group, so early registration is highly recommended. Cost is $125 per child, with early bird registrations only $99. Registration forms can be obtained at King's Department Store in Carlyle, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.