At awards ceremony, youth encouraged to follow their dreams; Richmond Roughriders among featured speakers
PETERSBURG - The Friends Helping Friends Basketball Camp on Wednesday held its awards ceremony at Peabody Middle School, with members of the Richmond Roughriders arena football team being among the featured speakers.
The purpose of the camp is to help youth not only learn the fundamentals of the game of basketball, but also develop great sportsmanship and become strong team players.
“It’s basically camaraderie and fellowship, and understanding how to work and share with others, and understanding that it’s more than a game of winners and losers. If you’re there, you’re a winner,” said Michael Moore, who helps direct the camps and formerly coached the wrestling teams at Matoaca, Petersburg and Virginia State University.
The camp also strives to show children that where they come from does not have to determine where they’re going.
“In working with the child ... if you want to teach them, instead of giving them a fish sandwich for them to eat, and they eat that day, we’re just trying to teach them to fish so they can eat forever,” Moore said in speaking to the program’s goal of instilling in children the long-term skills that will help them throughout their life.
Speakers at the awards ceremony - including local businesspeople, members of the Petersburg Parks and Leisure Service and members of the Roughriders - encouraged the campers to work hard, remain dedicated, respect others, surround themselves with positive influences and commit to their education in order to achieve their dreams and become productive citizens.
Each camper received a trophy, a basketball, a camper’s bag, a Roughriders foam finger and a Roughriders decal.
The Richmond Roughriders won the 2017 Arena Pro League Football Championship; Moore said they were helping to show a positive example and influence from the athletic community.
“They’re just not out there banging and hitting people. It’s a process ...90 percent, 99 percent, all of them went through an educational background, and that’s what we want the kids to understand. You can have these great dreams, but make sure you have a good foundation building it.
“If football is what you want, make sure you cover your academics, your social behavior, and if those two things are taken care of, if you play ball or not, you will be able to survive in society,” Moore said, “and that’s what we’re looking for when it’s all said and done.”