YMCA youth basketball offers kids a ‘bit of normalcy’
The Gleason Family YMCA’s youth basketball program is a chance for Wareham’s youngest residents to experience “the joy of being a kid — of playing,” according to Lu Brito, the Y’s senior program director.
Brito said the youth basketball program has been great for the kids and for their parents.
“Look at their faces — look at their eyes, because obviously you’re not seeing their nose and their mouth,” he said with a laugh. “But you can see just by the joy in their eyes, just to be running around.”
Kids in the 4 to 7 age group were eager to practice, run passing drills and play a three-on-three game on Saturday morning, Jan. 16. Brito said it was the sixth week the group had met, and it was clear the kids had already learned the basics of the sport, despite being so young.
The youth basketball program also offers a break for the parents, Brito said. They get a chance to sit back and watch their child play, rather than “helping with their school work or making sure they’re not getting into any mischief,” he said.
Brito also emphasized the importance of giving children the chance to be active and interact with other kids in ways that are pandemic-safe.
He said the Y implemented covid-19 precautions, such as keeping the same group of kids together, limiting spectators to one parent per child, requiring everyone wear masks at all times, disinfecting the gym/equipment between sessions and more.
Brito said he hopes the program has offered a “little bit of normalcy.”
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
In total, Brito said there were about 55 kids in the program. There are a number of groups, including some on Fridays for children age 8 to 13. The groups run in eight-week cycles, and there’s been enough positive reception that Brito said the Y plans to run another session in the near future — maybe in about another month.
Brito said parents could contact him for more information at email@example.com or by calling 508-295-9622, extension 17.