Team sports come in all shapes and sizes - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

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Team sports come in all shapes and sizes

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Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2009 11:00 pm

Not every child enjoys playing T-ball or soccer and, fortunately, for those children there are other teams that do not play their sport with a stick and ball.

Members of the Arizona All Stars Cheer and Tumbling Gym learn routines with tumbling, stunting and dancing, and perform what they learn each month at competitions.

The Youth Silver Ice team at Arizona All Stars consists of girls ages 6-12, who have learned how to work as a team to achieve a common goal.

Cynthia Fick, mother of Youth Silver Ice team member Hannah Fick, has noticed big changes in her daughter since she started training at Arizona All Stars.

“This has built her confidence on every level,” Fick said. “It combines dance, gymnastics and team building, and she has even blossomed at school.”

Fick also said her daughter enjoys the frequent performance opportunities that are offered at Arizona All Stars.

“She has always loved dance and gymnastics, but at a dance studio you spend a year in preparation for one performance,” Fick said. “Here she performs all the time, and being able to perform at the Coliseum as a 7-year-old is a big deal.”

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Christina Spencer’s daughters, Vanessa, 16, and Olivia, 6, have been participating at Arizona All Stars for several years.

“This is Vanessa’s fourth year and Olivia’s third year,” Spencer said. “They like to compete and they also like the team environment.”

Spencer has found that her daughters have received different benefits from performing with Arizona All Stars.

“Improving keeps Olivia motivated, and she likes the camaraderie of the team,” she said. “Vanessa spends nine hours here each week, and it has taught her how to prioritize her time.”

Spencer believes the gym has taught Vanessa valuable life lessons.

“The gym has given Vanessa more discipline because she knows that she has to do her homework before anything else, so she has become organized and efficient.”

Spending time at the gym also ensures that the girls are spending their time with good people in a positive environment, according to Spencer.

“I would recommend the gym to other parents, even though it is a commitment for the parents as well as the children because it teaches the girls self esteem and how to feel apart of something,” she said.

Girls who stay at the gym for several years have the opportunity to move on to teaching positions while they are still students. Samantha Willard, 19, has been a student at the gym for five years, but is also teaching the younger members of the Youth Silver Ice Team.

“I like watching them grow from when they walk in the door the first time until the year is done,” Willard said.

The Arizona All Stars Cheer and Tumbling Gym is located at 7425 S. Harl Ave. in Tempe. For more information, call (480) 831-1105 or visit www.azallstars.com.

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