HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The U.S. Surgeon General is praising one local summer camp for its way of getting, and keeping, young people interested in sports. It’s called the 2-4-1 Camp, and it is in session today and all next week on the Kingswood-Oxford School campus.
The camp offers tennis, basketball, soccer, baseball, football, even fencing, all in the same camp. That is exactly the idea husband and wife team Kerry and Steve Boyle had when they started 2-4-1 Sports Camp.
“We created this model, 2-4-1, Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport™, where kids come and they choose different sports,” explains Kerry Boyle. “It may be one that they really enjoy and it may be one that they never tried before.”
Kerry and Steve were both Division 1 college athletes, and are now both experienced coaches. They know most kids have a favorite sport, but they say that by learning other sports, like fencing, kids can actually improve at their favorite, say, basketball.
“So when I’m teaching defense, I teach like a fencer,” Steve Boyle explains. “Someone goes up for a jump shot, I want to go up to block it, but if they go by me, I need to be able to come back dribbling.”
By playing multiple sports, kids become better athletes. That’s one reason for the multi-sport approach, but there’s a secondary reason for it too, and it involves a term you might not have heard before: “Physical literacy.”
“The US definition of it is: the desire, the confidence, and the ability to be physically active for life,” Steve Boyle explained.
The U.S. Surgeon General thinks physical literacy is so important, he praised 2-4-1’s sports-sampling approach in a recent report. Too often these days, kids play one sport, year-round, because their parents encourage it. Steve and Kerry encourage just the opposite.
“Because what we’re finding is that kids just don’t play anymore,” Steve Boyle said. “Everything’s sort of hyper-instructive, all these adults hovering.”
In other words, not much fun. Kids who play multiple sports feel more like they’re, well, playing, and the thinking is, keep sports fun, and those kids will stay active and healthy for the rest of their lives.
Today from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and every day next week, more than 260 kids from the Greater Hartford community will come to the camp. For more information, go to 241sports.com.