Kennewick sports camp sees record enrollment

KENNEWICK, Wash. – The heat isn’t stopping young athletes in Kennewick from enjoying summer camp.

After a year of lockdowns and remote learning, they’re just happy to be scoring goals once again with the Skyhawks Sports Academy.

“They love it. They’re just so active and if anything we gotta (sic) keep up with them,” Lead Director Brittany Ortiz said.

As a teacher and coach with the Pasco School District, Skyhawks Tri-Cities Lead Director Brittany Ortiz understands what these children have been through.

“We ended up not having anything last summer actually. It is sports, but we’re teaching them how to [have] sportsmanship, how to socialize with kids a lot more and it’s really just to get them active instead of staying at home,” Ortiz said the camp in Kennewick this week will be teaching multiple sports.

The director said throughout the Tri-Cities they’ve seen a record number of kids at camp.

They believe the pandemic plus the Tokyo Olympics have a heavy influence.

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“You’d be surprised in some of these kids, that are like ‘oh basketball!’ They start naming everybody, swimming and gymnastics, everything, we promote it all, we do almost every sport,” Ortiz said unfortunately this year they couldn’t host swimming camp.

Camper Nicolas Hazel said he’s not there to be the perfect athlete.

“Either I’m too good for my own good or I just need to practice more,” the 12-year-old said.

But more so to get his body moving, and make new friends.

“All the activities and all the people are just nice overall and it’s just a great overall community of good, friendly people,” he said.

Nicolas added not having camp last year was tough.

Both he and Ortiz encourage others to sign up for the remaining sessions of Skyhawks Sports Academy in both Richland and Kennewick.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a camp anymore, it’s become an entire community,” Nicolas added.

There are still multi-sport camps, flag football, golf and volleyball camps available.