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Local camp introduces children to new sports

Amber Shivers prepares to serve the ball Thursday at Spring Break Camp 2014, located at H&S Ranch in Selma. Shivers and fourteen other students spent their off week at the camp, learning how to play volleyball from Alabama State University head coach Penny Lucas-White and many other sports.--Daniel Evans

Amber Shivers prepares to serve the ball Thursday at Spring Break Camp 2014, located at H&S Ranch in Selma. Shivers and fourteen other students spent their off week at the camp, learning how to play volleyball from Alabama State University head coach Penny Lucas-White and many other sports.–Daniel Evans

While many schoolchildren spent their Spring Break on vacation at the beach, several others are learning new sports at a local Spring break camp.

Spring Break Camp 2014, located at H&S Ranch, has given youth the opportunity to meet and learn from former Alabama basketball player Andrew Steele, Alabama State University volleyball coach Penny Lucas-White, and get introduced to new games and activities.

“We didn’t focus just on sports,” camp organizer Joyce Harris said. “We focused on arts and crafts and games and they are just having fun. We just want to give them time to relax and time to get away from the hustle and bustle and some of their electronics.”

The camp was open to first grade through twelfth grade students at the cost of $100 per student. Harris said she has wanted to do the camp for a long time, but this year she had help from many in the community, like fellow realtor Kelly Sue Giampietro.

Harris, who is an Alabama State University alumni, also made a call to White and asked if she’d be willing to come out to the camp. Lucas-White, who said she loves to help out the community whenever she can, was excited about the chance to help out.

Many of the students have not been introduced to volleyball, White said, so she started with the basics and progressed to coaching a game.

“We went over the basic skills of volleyball,” Lucas-White said. “We did serving, setting, passing and spiking and a little bit of digging and then we put it all together and let them play a game. They did some drills at first but it was a lot of fun.”

To help teach the students the game, White had current Hornets’ volleyball player Dragano Cvoric tag along and help out.

“It helps us find a diamond in the rough,” Lucas-White said. “I think just in the last hour and a half when we started teaching the skills to see some of the kids that couldn’t serve a ball over the net all of a sudden can, to see how quickly they can gather information and apply it, who knows I may find a student athlete out here that becomes an athlete for Alabama State.”