Area children who participate in the Nazarene Church’s Win 1 basketball and cheerleading were taught not only lessons about athletic fundamentals but also the story of Jesus this season.

The season comes to an end March 7 with its final batch of games. Jennifer Farnsworth, the organizer for Win 1, said that Saturday’s celebration is something that the athletes and their parents won’t want to miss.

“We make sure to have a big celebration every year,” Ms. Farnsworth said. “We plan to have bounce houses for the kids, food and some Bible time.”

She said that the community is invited to the festivities and that their will be a slideshow review of the season.

The program boasts over 150 students that participate in the cheerleading and basketball teams. There are 14 basketball teams and five cheer teams, and all of the teams are comprised of children from kindergarten to sixth grade.

Ms. Farnsworth said that this year’s athletes have shown improvement and that she hopes to see the program grow even more in years to come.

“This is my second year organizing Win 1, and we actually have a ton of new kids in each age group,” Ms. Farnsworth said. We have a lot of coaches that love the game and who love working with the kids. We try to make sure to teach them the fundamentals and to love the game.”

She also said that the girls who participate in the cheer teams have also shown improvement, not just in fundamentals of cheer, but also in self confidence.

“This year I’ve been able to jump more into the cheerleading side of things, and it's been really fun to meet the girls and hear them get their voices and gain confidence,” Ms. Farnsworth said. “They get really excited. They like to cheer for their friends and the audience.”

Children in the program also learn more about different Bible subjects during practice and the halftime of their games. Ms. Farnsworth said that this year the coaches and organizers have been focused on the life of Jesus.

“We try to bring Jesus in to what we are doing,” Ms. Farnsworth said. “We started this year off around Christmas with the birth of Jesus, and now we will end the season talking about his death and resurrection.”

Games are slated to go from 8 a.m to 1 p.m Saturday with the season-ending celebration to follow at 4 p.m at the Nazarene’s gymnasium.

For more information call the Nazarene church at 208-245-4594.

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