My 9-year-old son and I were sold after reading the summer camp blurb: Learn 11+ sports in one week! OK, so maybe he wouldn’t be able to perfect any of them to a competitive level. But my son has always been kind of a dabbler anyway, so a week full of options sounded just right for his personality. We enrolled immediately in the Flips and Kicks Plus summer camp.
At the end of the first day, I asked my son what he liked most about the camp. He said that there was no best part and no worst part to the day; he liked everything from beginning to end! Kudos to coaches Fredrik and Kai; they have a special way with kids and ensure participants receive good training while keeping things fun.
Other moms, who knew Fredrik and Kai from gymnastics classes held throughout the school year, echoed my sentiments. Kids and parents alike have only good things to say about Flips and Kicks Plus, particularly the coaching staff. They are warm, welcoming, and able to accommodate each child at their level. They encourage the children to develop their skills without intimidating them.
The camp day is structured into four chunks, three of which are for learning and practicing a sport, and the last for a team-building activity. Children are put into mixed age groups, so bigger kids are able to support the smaller ones. Leadership and socialization skills stand out in such a setting.
This multi-sports camp is held at the Beijing Olympic training facility for disabled athletes. The venue was chosen not only for its location, but also for the high-quality facilities and equipment.
But perhaps unintentionally, the venue choice also imparted some important insights to my son. “In the changing room, I saw some men with no arms,” he said. “They can still do sports even if their bodies are not complete.”
While my son has seen Paralympians competing on TV, it was his first close encounter with disabled athletes. I hope the experience will encourage him to think beyond his own limitations and frustrations. The summer camp may only last for one short week, but the children will take away skills and lessons that will serve them for much longer than that.
The second block of summer camps led by Flips and Kicks Plus will run from July 15-20. For more information, check out their website.
Photo by Flickr user proadventurephotos
Dana is the beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to Beijing in 2011 (via Europe) with her husband, two sons and Rusty the dog. She enjoys writing, photography, theater, visual arts, and trying new food. In her free time, she can be found exploring the city and driving along the mountain roads of Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu.