| By Myra Bean
The Batesville Boys and Girls Club has teamed up with Jr. Olympics Skills Competition to host local level competition in the spring months.
Today beginning at 10 a.m., the basketball competition will be held. The competition is open for girls and boys ages 8 to 13 in the Batesville Jr. High School gymnasium.
Catie Ashburn of Boys and Girls Club said this liaison between the two organizations is done on a national level. Winners of each category will go on to participate in regional competition.
The other three local competitions and dates are Track and Field, Friday, April 14 at 10 a.m.; Tennis, Saturday, April 29 at 10 a.m.; and Soccer, Saturday, May 13 at 10 a.m.
These events are not in a game category, according to Ashburn. They will be time and distance tested.
In basketball the children will have to see how many points they can score from designated shooting areas and from the free throw line in 45 seconds.
In soccer, the students will be tested on dribbling, shooting and scoring the fastest.
In tennis, the participants will have to serve and continue to hit a low-compression tennis ball against he wall as many times as they can in 30 seconds.
Track and field tests them in three events: standing long jump, 50-yard dash and shot put using a softball.
The basic goals of these activities is to give the children in Panola County a chance to compete against kids from all areas of the United States, according to Ashburn.
"We know that our kids can," she said. "It just gives them the ability to advance. It’s only fair that our kids will be competing from kids from Jackson and from the coast in order to improve their skills"
The events require at least 30 participants to sign up.
"It’s not like they have to know the rules of soccer or tennis," Ashburn said. "It is tended to peak an interest. Participating in these events just gives our kids an introduction to the skills they will use to participate in junior high as well as high school."
The events will be divided in age groups 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13.
The events are free to all participants. For more information, contact Dennis Hoskins or James Jones at (662) 578-7891.