July 22–26, the gym at Bethany College, Hepburn, Sask., was filled with hard work and excitement as athletes Grades 7–to 12 came to improve their basketball skills. It was Above the Rim Basketball Camp, the final week of sport camps at the college, attended by 35 campers.
This year’s camp was led by head coaches Brendon Johnston and Tasha Fehr; both Bethany alumni with a passion for basketball and for seeing youth improve their skills. “This camp is always the highlight of my entire year!” says Fehr, veteran coach of 9 years. Cory Braun, another of the coaches, back for his fourth year, says, “I keep coming back because it was a blast when I came as a camper and I want campers to have a blast as well.”
For some of the 13 coaches, the chance to get to know the campers better is a major draw.
“My highlight has been singing in the dorm with the kids,” says Phil Braun, a coach for two years. Every evening in dorm after a full day of events, coaches can build relationships with the kids as well as encourage them in their walk with God.
But coaches were not the only ones who were enthused about the camp. “I love basketball!” says Denise Froese, a 15-year-old basketball enthusiast from Warman, Sask. “I came here last year too and it was lots of fun!” Eric Katz, a 16-year-old from Saskatoon, says he’s not only improved his basketball skills but also “grown deeper in my relationship with God.”
This week’s guest speaker, Kendrew Friesen, continued with the topic of sacrifice, the theme for this year’s sports camps. The first time sports camp speaker informed the campers that God wants each of us to succeed and do well. To do this, we are invited to surrender our lives to Him so that God can guide and lead us through life.
Looking over the past weeks of camp, Alvin Thielmann, Bethany College athletics director, says his highlight “has been seeing the high energy level of all the coaches. The coaches have done an awesome job at setting a great example for all the athletes. They got the campers excited and ready to participate in each activity.”
We can’t wait to see everyone here next year!
—Vanessa Kroeker, Sports Camps Staff