Hubby and I don’t have kids/a kid just yet, but have actually talked a lot about what sports our kids could play and how youth sports fit into our own childhoods. G played sports all of his life growing up. Football, Baseball, Wrestling, Martial Arts – he did it all. I, on the other hand, loved Basketball and played for leisure but never got into sports much as a kid. I had the discipline of my studies while hubby had the discipline of his athletic focus.
I was invited to take part in a weekend event to highlight Disney’s Youth Sports programs Walt Disney World offered at their ESPN Wide World of Sports facility. We thought this was a great chance to be able to see the facilities that we’d only been to for the Run Disney Expos and maybe a Braves Spring Training game or so.
Disney’s Wide World of Sports is located within the Disney World property in Orlando. At almost 230 acres in size, it hosts over 170 events including Atlanta Braves Spring Training and Youth Sports events of all kinds. It also includes quadaplexes, indoor facilities, and interchangable turf for multiple sports platforms. While we were there, kids were gearing up for the Disney International Cup where children from all over the world competed in their very own World Cup! Softball and Baseball games were going on there as well. On our tour of the complex there was a fun run included that allowed us to go through the trail portion of the property used for crosscountry as well as the Haunted 5k that is part of the Tower of Terror Race weekend.
Hubby and I ran the 1.50 mile route with some new friends we’d made that weekend – bloggers and other media from all over the country were there with us too. I enjoyed time learning from Desiree, Audrey, and got to see Erin who I’d met at Fitbloggin.
We also took a tour of the complex itself and were able to see just how truly special Disney makes the Youth Sports experience for the kids. Here, the KIDS REALLY ARE THE PROS! There is a Welcome Center where parents and coaches can get assistance with snacks, water, and even theme park tickets and Fast Passes for their crew.
While having lunch, we heard from many speakers including Tom Shaw (Sports and Performance Coach) and one of Disney’s WWoS Chefs, Chef Hal. Erin also had a chance to speak as a mom who also gets her children and other children very involved in nutrition and fitness.
Here are some more tid bits of info that I learned over the course of the weekend:
* Tom Shaw trains his athletes, of all ages, using a lot of body resistance exercises. You need explosive power to increase performance, not muscle mass necessarily
* He also said to get faster, you need longer strides and faster elbows [upper body mobility]
* DJ Cole is pretty hip amongst the youngsters
* Disney works to make sure people of all ages and sizes have the best time ever at all of their facilities
* I’m getting too old and don’t like riding the Tower of Terror – meanwhile, G, is a big fan
* Disney makes special non-contaminated gluten and dairy free desserts
* Puma and New Balance are the shoe sponsors within the Disney Sports families
* A mom blogger of 5 can motivate me to not be scared to have 1 kid of my own some day
Great! Now we love yet another facet of the Disney magic! I hope we get to come back down the road and see our kid[s] play here in the Happiest Place on SPORTS Earth!
Have you been to the WWoS before?
What do you look for when it comes to Youth Sports programs and information?