As a kid’s sports writer, I cover back-to-school, extracurricular activities, and what it means to live, work, and play in our community.
Article by Melanie Saxton
Originally published in Conroe City Lifestyle
After-school extracurricular activities allow your child to develop friendships outside of the school realm while increasing confidence, ethics, and good sportsmanship, often working together as a team to accomplish a goal. Montgomery County has options from team sports to music lessons to fill your needs.
Involvement in a league or club can help boys and girls form ethical views about winning, losing, and competition in general. Participation in the arts inspires creative, academic, and social achievement. There’s no better time to explore which extracurriculars fit your child’s interests.
Football, Cheerleading, Triathlons, and More
Chad Jones of the North County Football League (NCFL) in Montgomery also serves as Commissioner of the Lone Star Youth Football Alliance (LSYFA). Sports are great for harnessing energy and boosting the skillsets of five to twelve years olds. “They’re all from different backgrounds, and when they get in that huddle, they learn to work together.” The NCFL also offers cheerleading activities that encourage movement, coordination, and teamwork. northcountyfootball.org
SelecTRI, led by Amie Quinn, has a youth triathlon team for kids ages 6 to 18 and a competitive team for athletes ages 10 to 18. Training is in The Woodlands. “If your child enjoys swimming, biking, and running, our organization is committed to building lifetime athletes,” says Amie. “A team atmosphere promotes camaraderie, spirit, and accepting the responsibility of working towards individual and team goals.” Learn more at selectri.org.
There is one young athlete. Madison, who joined SelectTri a year ago after leaving competitive soccer. SelecTri was a very welcoming team from the start as a complete novice to triathlete sports and quickly advanced to the top group with her background in swim teams and running clubs. June 11, 2023, almost exactly one year from starting the sport, she attempted her first ever adult triathlon super sprint race at the encouragement of her coach, Aime Quinn.
Madison had the determination to attend all the pre-race meetings, train 3 times a week, participate in set-ups, and to ask questions surrounded by adults attempting the same feat. The hills on this course are nothing like she had ever seen before. The open water swim was something she had ever only experienced one time, and the run was on a path blocked off only by cones from cars. But there she was, 12 years old and getting on the shuttle bus at 5 am to head the first transition.
Her family eagerly waited to see her after the swim and the curvy hills on her bike. She finally made it to the second transition to finish the race running, never getting off her bike to walk up the hills like she saw other competitors do. It was a tough race, and Madison wanted to cry and instead began praying out loud for Jesus to help her. Running comes easy to Madison, so she easily passed other athletes winning the top female overall winner spot in the super sprint race category.
Madison’s Mom noted Coach Quinn, was right by Madison’s side for the duration of the race. “Coach Quinn brought in a 2nd place overall win for the race and 1st place coach award in our hearts”, said Courtney Challis. “While we are proud of her win, we are more proud of the determination and courage she displayed and the lessons she continues to learn through this sport and her SelecTri team.”
Majestic Youth Sports Center in Willis offers after-school gym time as well as cheerleading, dance, tumbling, gymnastics, ballet, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and ninja classes. The classes build strength, agility, self-awareness, and self-discipline. Visit majesticsports.com for times and schedules.
Music and The Arts
Kate Wishman, General Manager at the School of Rock, welcomes students age three and beyond to experience music lessons and programs. “Some children have never touched an instrument before, and others have years of experience. We meet them where they are and place them in bands divided by age level rather than skill level,” she says. Kate aims to build them up as musicians and teach them the skills they need to grow in their musical journeys. “We definitely encourage students to participate in School of Rock performances. Our house band, all under 14 years old, appears at Margaritaville, Downtown Conroe, and Willis.” Learn more at schoolofrock.com/locations/conroe.
The Bravo Company Performing Arts School is the youth theater program at the historic Crighton Theatre that offers classes from September to May. Youth can audition for the visiting Missoula Children’s Theatre in “Beauty Lou and the Country Beast” on October 2, with a performance at the end of the week! Check out the classes and audition information at crightontheatre.org/mct.
Cheers to a new school year of exploration and adventure off their devices!
Learn about School of Rock at the Summer Showcase on August 26th from 5:30pm – 9:30pm, at Southern Star Brewing Company, 3525 N. Frazier in Conroe. The Summer Showcase will feature Southern Rock and Indie Rock from the School of Rock Performance Group.
The School of Rock teaches kids how to play together as a band with their patented Performance Based Music Education, combining one-on-one instruction with group rehearsals and live performances, teaching students how to play together as a band. Their version of recitals is real rock shows at real venues in front of live audiences.
“We were amazed by Madison’s ability to compete with adults as a 12-year-old,” said Madison’s mom Courtney Challis.
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