Winter can present a variety of challenges to families trying to find indoor activities for their children. After months spent inside, children inevitably turning toward television, video games, and technology for entertainment. With this in mind, Northeast Opportunities for Wellness (NOW), a local non-profit focusing on youth wellness, was inspired to host a series of free sports clinics with the intention of getting kids out of the house and active. With previous clinics in January and February focused on football and soccer, NOW will bring additional sports to area children during the month of March.

The clinics, all hosted at Tourtellotte Memorial High School in Thompson, will take place over the first three Sundays in March from 12:30 to approximately 4:30 pm. The first clinic, on March 6, will focus on Running, with Thompson coaches Deb Spinelli and Beth Teneyck teaching skills in sprinting, relay, hurdles, and more. The clinic will be open to ages 5 through 14, with participants split into separate age groups.

The following Sunday, March 13th – Challenger Sports, the largest soccer camp operator in the US, will join NOW for a Soccer Clinic for children ages 10 to 14. This clinic is a follow up to two previous soccer clinics held in February for younger children. Participating youth will have a chance to sign up for two Soccer Camps hosted by Challenger Sports, scheduled for this summer in Canterbury and Putnam.

March 20th will see a joint Hockey and Lacrosse Clinic; a result of a partnership between NOW, Griffin Youth Hockey, and Pomfret Youth Lacrosse. The clinic will focus on such skills as shooting, passing, stick handling in hockey, and cradling in lacrosse. The clinic will be open to children 4 through 14 with youth from throughout NECT invited to come to the clinic and learn skills and techniques in hockey and lacrosse. Both Griffin Youth Hockey and Pomfret Youth Lacrosse are regional organizations and will have information available for those interested in learning more about the respective sports.

At all three clinics, NOW will have a brief nutrition class for children, featuring fun activities focusing on healthy food choices. In addition to nutrition education, healthy snacks will be provided. Children will also participate in an obstacle course, helping them improve their dexterity with cones, hoops, and an agility ladder.

Allan Rawson, NOW President and founder, hopes the clinics will provide more than just entertainment and exercise: “Throughout the year, NOW works with a variety of youth sports organizations in the area, providing scholarship opportunities for kids to play in the sport of their choice. We hope that the clinics will serve as an introduction to sports for children who may have not had previous athletic experience.”

Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, is a non-profit human services organization focused on youth wellness. Serving the 10-town area of Northeast Connecticut, NOW provides children with the opportunity to participate in area athletics programs, offering scholarships to the youth of the community with up to 95{935c65a732af2bdfdcd0903b52ce42ca7e95cf00c7f9fc1a7b4e2b425875eda7} of the cost being subsidized by NOW. In 2015, NOW provided 215 scholarships to local children. The mission of the organization is to provide ALL children, regardless of financial resources, equal opportunities to achieve & maintain youth wellness, beginning at an early age.