By Norman Seawright III

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hamline University’s annual All-Sports camp takes a slightly different approach to summer sports camps. It works whether or not the kids know exactly what sport they want to play.

And because of this, they’ve had to put kids on waiting lists. WCCO”s Norman Seawright visited the camp to explore their unique approach.

“We really like to preach being a multi-sport athlete,” explained Camp Director Alex Focke.

That’s the point behind Hamline University’s All-Sports camp – not to build the best basketball or hockey player, but to encourage kids to try new sports.

“We as college coaches love to recruit multi-sport athletes, and it’s really fun for kids to be able to participate in multiple sports throughout the day and learn some new ones, too. Try some new things out,” said Focke.

“I think not specializing will help kids like sports more,” added Camp Counselor Mikayla Hensch.

Along with coaches, current and former Hamline student-athletes guide the camp.

“Yeah, these kids are a lot of fun. Kind of reminds you why you started, why you liked the sport in the first place,” explained Hensch.

Exposing kids to all sports has quite a few benefits. For instance, the skills you learn in track can translate to soccer.

“I think there’s some important lessons that you pull from all different sports. Track is more individual, soccer or football is more team-oriented. Those are important aspects,” said Head Counselor Shane Swanberg.

Another important aspect is teaching leadership.

“These transfer to jobs, not necessarily just sports,” explained Swanberg.

After the skills and the life lessons, the point is to have fun.

“Just an awesome chance for young campers to get exposed to college athletes and for college athletes to remember what it’s like being a kid and having fun playing sports again,” explained Focke.

And to keep kids coming back.

Norman Seawright III

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