Youngsters participating in sports programs conducted by the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Baumholder Youth Sports and Fitness staff in Germany have been reaping the benefits of several innovative offerings rolled out during the pandemic.

The dedicated staff took on the gigantic task of putting together virtual programs that kept kids active, engaged, learning – and having lots of fun. They handled everything from recording and editing to advertising and promoting – and their efforts were embraced by families throughout the small base.

And these terrific efforts helped it earn a prestigious Excellence in Youth Sports Award. The Excellence Awards were created by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Athletic Business in 2000 and are annually presented to organizations who have gone above and beyond with a specific initiative, process, project, campaign, element or component of its program.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award and share with our community,” said Marcel Fisher, Youth Sports and Fitness Director. “We truly want the best for our kids and strive for the best, and my team and I did not want to have a virus deter us from our goals. We were able to find a path to provide some special, new and exciting activities.”

Did they ever.

Starting at the youngest ages, it produced a virtual Start Smart program for children ages 3 and 4 that featured six pre-recorded sessions that aimed to encourage parent participation in the skill-building activities. The virtual content was posted for free on its YouTube and Facebook pages for all its families to enjoy.

Its virtual basketball skills camp was another popular offering, as the beginner friendly program encompassed numerous drills focused on building fundamentals while being designed for families to complete in the convenience of their own home. Through its Pick Up and Play Initiative, families were provided basketballs, cones and ball pumps through a curbside service that emphasized social distancing to keep both staff and families safe.

“It’s truly impressive the array of innovative programming the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Baumholder Youth Sports and Fitness staff developed and implemented while navigating incredibly challenging circumstances,” said John Engh, executive director of NAYS. “Their tireless efforts kept kids engaged during a period where physical activity was as vital as ever and they are a most deserving recipient of the Excellence in Youth Sports Award.”


Another aspect of its virtual programming were Healthy Habits videos, which showcased its fitness specialist prepping fresh ingredients and making a variety of delicious and nutritious shakes. These short, educational videos were shared on its social media platforms for free.

And at the beginning of the year, it unveiled its Fun Friday program, which provided youth who weren’t ready to commit to a longer program with an action-packed afternoon. These sessions included a variety of fun activities and an introduction to many non-traditional sports like bowling, wall climbing, disc golf and foot golf. Plus, kids had a chance to participate and hang out with friends while maintaining social distancing.

Week after week children were treated to a variety of original programming created by their staff to meet their needs during incredibly challenging times.

USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Baumholder Youth Sports and Fitness is one of four organizations to earn an Excellence in Youth Sports Award this year. To be considered for an Excellence Award an organization must first be designated as a Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider. This designation shows that organizations have met benchmark standards when it comes to administering youth sports programs.

USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Baumholder Youth Sports and Fitness was honored during a special awards ceremony that took place at the 20th annual Youth Sports Congress in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 27-30. The four Excellence Award winners were also celebrated during the NAYS Virtual Youth Sports Congress on Nov. 16-18.

Excellence Baumholder Youth Fun

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