20th season of Sports Night now under way at DePauw

Friday, November 4, 2011
Derek Davis, student coordinator of Sports Night, enjoys giving children like Kadeo Lewis and Jack Riggle a place to play and run around. Sports Night occurs one Friday a month at the Lilly Center on DePauw's campus.

The 20th season of Sports Night is now under way. The free activity night is open to the youth of Putnam County in grades 1-5 and occurs once a month in the Lilly Center when DePauw University classes are in session.

The student-led program will once again have Derek Davis of Cloverdale back as the student coordinator. Davis, a DePauw junior and sports night alum himself, plans on taking things back to the way they were when he was a child.

"I actually got into it by accident," said Davis. "I volunteered with it my first year."

As a participant of sports night himself when he was younger, Davis really enjoyed the format of the event.

"I'm sort of doing what I did as a kid," said Davis. "I just added a lot more structure."

Although, the name of the program may be a bit deceiving, it isn't sports like soccer and basketball. The program is more aimed at playground types of games, they do however try to incorporate certain sports every so often.

"I just remember how much fun it was for me as a kid and I wanted to try and recreate that," said Davis.

One of the biggest changes Davis made was creating separate stations. The children stay at one station for a certain amount of time based on the activity and rotate throughout the night until they've participated at each station.

"My favorite part is having a place for the kids to just run around and have a good time," said Davis.

This year the program, which was founded due to a lack of YMCA, has around 15 volunteers each month and more children participating than every before. The program varies from month to month in order to give participants a bit of variety. The program will also feature a game of the month. In the past, the program has had tae-kwon-do lessons as well as dance lessons from students at DePauw.

"I try not to do the same thing two times in a row," Davis said.

As part of the DePauw Community Service program, the activity night aims to enhance the lives of children by offering a fun environment for learning skills and the value of being a team player.

The activity night is free to all county children who wish to participate. Each child must have a registration form on file which are available through the DePauw website, www.depauw.edu/uni/opportunities/sportsnigh.asp. Children must also be signed in and out at each night.

For more information or questions contact Gigi Jennewein Fenlon at 658-4870 or gfenlon@depauw.edu.

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