YMCA, First Sixth Baptist Church team up to provide sports in West Port Arthur

Published 12:38 am Saturday, February 12, 2022

First Sixth Baptist Church and the YMCA are teaming up to provide sports leagues for children on the west side of Port Arthur.

Through the Flash League, the two organizations are making youth sports more available to children in that part of town.

The league’s soccer finale is be at 2 p.m. Sunday at First Sixth Baptist Church.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We wanted to bring youth sports to the west side community, because sometimes kids on that side of town don’t get the option to play youth sports,” Pastor Kalan Gardner said. “A lot of times those sports are on the other side of town and those kids might not have transportation or the means to get there.”

The church provides the facility, while the YMCA runs the practices and games.

“They rotate sports,” Gardner said. “This month, they did soccer. Next month, they could do flag football. There is also basketball. They wanted to alternate sports to give kids a chance to experience all of them.”

The leagues also provide an opportunity for kids to get outside and play.

“It brings me great joy to see those kids running around and having fun,” Gardner said.

He said the leagues are for children 3 years old up to sixth grade.

There is a $25 fee to participate, but YMCA of Southeast Texas CEO Kevin Pearson said he does not want money to be a deterring factor.

“If a child couldn’t afford the $25, the YMCA still has financial assistance available,” Pearson said. “Our position is that nobody should be denied due to an inability to pay. The big thing about the outreach was being able to take the program to the kids. Funds are funds, but transportation is a whole different issue. For some to make the drive up here on a regular basis; that could be difficult.”

The typical fee for joining a YMCA league is $45, but the organization subsidized part of the fee for this program.

Gardner said people also sponsored kids to be able to play in the league.

“I believe every kid should play some type of sport,” Gardner said. “Sports teach you so many things. They teach you how to work together and communication skills. It is very important that every kid has that opportunity, regardless of race or economic standing.”