Orange and Upward!

If you belong to a church that participates in the incredibly community-minded Upward Sports, you may have noticed something a little different about the program this year—a little Orange influence, perhaps.

Orange is very excited to work with Upward Sports by providing three pieces of the Upward Sports program: the weekly practice devotions for kids, weekly halftime activities for parents, and end-of-the-season celebration DVD for families to take home.

The purpose behind Upward Sports is connecting the local church with the community through the language of sports. Upward Sports supplies church members with resources, helping them build relationships in their community whereby they can share the gospel and help the community see the church in a new light. In other words, taking down walls for experiencing a loving community.

Rallying around the idea of creating environments and events for kids, Upward Sports and Orange are looking to bridge a gap between community members participating in a 12-week sports program, and those same community members participating in the local church.

By using materials based on 252 Basics, non-church members experience what the church is like on the common ground of sports. The relationships formed on the court or field between church members and the community are what Upward Sports hopes will motivate community members to attend church and become a part of its body.

Upward Sports and Orange hope this collaboration will provide a connection point for the community with local churches, fostering further involvement, and growing young lives toward understanding virtues and values. When churches unite the Upward Sports program with what they are already doing in 252 Basics, they are bridging a gap and providing a track to run on for families in the community.

If you’re already involved with a church using 252 Basics and Upward Sports, show your appreciation and support to the volunteers and coaches. If your church is running an Upward Sports program, consider aligning your efforts by incorporating 252 Basics—let your community see what’s played out on the field, embodied and nurtured within the church walls. To find a church in your area using Upward Sports, go to www.Upward.org/findaleague. Or, if you’d like to start an Upward Sports Program at your church, go to www.Upward.org/connect.

Founded in 1995 by Caz McCaslin, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian sports league for kids. The first-class sports programming—which includes basketball, flag football, soccer and cheerleading—provides a fun sports experience based on healthy competition for kids, teaching skills for the sports arena and values for life. Today, more than 550,000 children in 47 U.S. states and Canada participate in Upward Sports Leagues hosted by 2,400 churches.