Military Spouse Magazine

OCT 2018

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When Kim Davis' family moved to Alaska, her boys' favorite sport, lacrosse, wasn't offered. Then the basketball coach benched her varsity player simply because he "wasn't a fan" of the military. Still, her ath- letic son Luke participated in track and cross country where he had "amazing coaches" and he continued running in college, Davis said. "I believe that the military life teaches our children resiliency and flexibility." "That's the beauty of the military, you get to try other things," agreed Rebecca Rindahl. At one duty station, Rindahl's daughter Montana could have played on a travel soccer team, but they made a family decision that it wasn't a good choice for that year. "But it wasn't a make-or-break, world-will-end decision," said Rindahl. After sitting out, Montana wasn't in the same physical shape, but she caught up quickly and went on to play in college and was the team captain. "She was taught hospitality and friendliness; caring about other people…she was able to bring the team together, which she learned (as a military kid)," Rindahl concluded. Defend the Blue Line started as a hockey gear loaning program but has grown into United Heroes League, an organization helping kids borrow equipment for several sports including baseball, basketball, golf, football, lacrosse and soccer. They send kids to camps, give tickets to professional games as well as help with registration fees. Children of all military personnel, veterans, and the fallen are eligible. Visit unitedheroesleague.org to learn more. For wounded warriors or deployed National Guard/Reserves families, check out Our Military Kids ( ourmilitarykids.org ). This organization provides grants for sports, fine arts, camps and tutoring. Even if an area has a sport, it isn't always quality. "Most bases/installations offer 'recre- ational' level sports, but don't offer a higher level of competition or coaching for the athlete seeking more. We have always had to do our own research and digging into finding elite training and competi- tion," said Autumn Urquhart, mother of soccer player Elijah . She recommends staying involved in the local community to get valuable information. "As parents, we're the first line of coaches our kids get," said Tami Barnwell, mother of Division 1 football player Christopher. "I forever tell my kids to be teachable. Be coachable." She also cites the military mindset of being flexible and creative: "If they don't have something, start something! Don't be afraid to change programs if it isn't working out. But if you leave something, don't burn a bridge. You might have to cross back over that bridge." TWO ORGANIZATIONS WORK TO ASSIST MILITARY KIDS WITH ATHLETIC GEAR, PROFESSIONAL GAME TICKETS, CAMPS, EVEN REGISTRATION FEES. Photo by Kim Davis Photo by Kim Davis Photo of Elijah by Lisa Kemmer 30 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / OCTOBER 2018

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