Got Game Sports Inspires And Gives Back
By Susie Kopecky
Jul 4, 2012 - 12:23:10 PM
LOS ANGELES—Korey Kalman is a man who wants to give back to his community, and is doing so in positive, productive ways.
Kalman, known affectionately to many as Coach K, is the young and inspiring dreamer and go-getter behind Got Game Sports, a Los Angeles-based youth sports organization with the mission of "offer[ing] engaging, instructive, fun, popular, and overall high quality sports/activity-driven programs in the area."
Got Game Sports offers such fun athletic programming as PE programming for elementary and middle schools, specialty camps, after-school sports programs, private training and clinics, and even provides fun for athletically-inclined birthday parties.
Got Game Sports team and happy campers. Photo courtesy of Got Game Sports.
Got Game Sports began in 2004 in the Philadelphia area, when Kalman was just finishing up high school. "A friend and I
wanted to run a basketball camp for kids," Kalman explained of his
organization's altruistic beginnings. Kalman and his operating partner were friends who both played high school basketball.
"We began as a basketball camp
for that area and throughout college continued to grow on it as a summer 'job' to multiple offerings and surrounding townships," Kalman recalled.
After graduating college, many opportunities were available to Kalman, but he knew in his heart he wanted to share his love for sports and enthusiasm for athletics. After coming to Los Angeles, he was sold: he loved the famous Southern California weather. "Naturally, it made sense to do things outdoors all the time," he noted.
One day in Los Angeles, he drove past empty basketball courts at a school. He soon became friends with a "great principal" of the school and shared his passion for sports and sharing that love.
we began in Los Angeles as an organization that offered after school programs
to certain schools, which eventually led to summer camps in Los Angeles as
Got Game Sports began to grow, eventually growing to offer "dozens" of activity-driven after-school programs for students throughout the Los Angeles area, in addition to providing full-time Physical Education programming at three elementary schools, running private birthday parties and offering various winter, spring and summertime camps during school breaks.
"The idea behind Got Game, more than anything, is the aspect of
competition," Kalman explains. "That was the basis of our camps that started in 2004 and it
still is a major part of what we do. Ultimately, that's what kids want to
do the most... they want to compete and play. Sure, drills are
important, but they want to show what they're made of!"
competition has almost become one that is shunned upon when it comes to kids
these days," Kalman points out. "We don't follow that trend. Competition is all around
us no matter how old we are. Whether it's a child that's trying to do the
best on the science exam or an adult trying to win over the heart of an
employer, it's everywhere. And what we do is we offer these
children the platform to be able to compete, but we do it in an entirely
bully-free, language-free, zero-tolerance zone where discipline and respect are
taught. Because we're able to do that, we know that any child that
experiences our programs are going to get hooked, and I think based on growth
in the past year and a half, it shows that's true."
An inspirational moment on the court. Photo courtesy of Mike Dalsing
This impassioned mixture of laissez-faire and providing as comfortable an environment as possible allows the coaches of Got Game Sports to "let the kids do
what they want to do most... JUST PLAY! We teach the games in
unorthodox ways and relate everything they do to applicable things in their
lives while finding only the most motivated and truly special individuals
available to be their coaches."
Another strength of Got Game Sports is the emphasis on heavy supervision and high ratios of leaders to participating students: "We keep really strong ratios and NEVER short-change the kids as so
many programs out there." Kalman explains. "Instead of providing the minimum supervision, we
go above and beyond because at the end of the day we know we are going to
continue to grow on all of our programs the more we give. That's what the
mega event is all about and that's what we are all about.... the kids!"
One event offered this past spring was the Mega Event, a free community event that was expected to include about 175 student players, and an event that is "put on for some of the
schools that we work with in an after school capacity," Kalman shares. "Any of the
children who have signed up for some of our programs during the most recent
session (in this case, spring session) are allowed to participate and represent
their schools and compete against the other schools in that sport in a
tournament that we set up. It's a fantastic day with food, music,
raffles, and wonderful spirit. Trophies are awarded to the champion
schools in each sport." What makes this event so unique too, is how it continues in the greatly generous spirit of Got Game Sports, in that it is an event where the goal is to "bring together many people
from different demographics for a day of fun and cheering on their school."
The organization's main program of the year, Summer Camp, is currently going on now at Hancock Park Elementary School.
Readers can learn more about Got Game Sports by visiting the Facebook page at facebook.com/Got.Game.Sports or by visiting gotgamecamp.com. Those interested in ongoing summer programming or to sign up for future programs may call Coach K and his team at 610-772-3424 or can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you got game? Photo courtesy of Got Game Sports.
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