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SPRING BREAK: Obstacle course and 3-on-3 return to Marble Falls parks

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

Marco Almazon clears a tire during last year’s obstacle course in Johnson Park during Spring Break. This year, kids and adults can enjoy plenty of Spring Break activities around the Highland Lakes. The city of Marble Falls and its parks and recreation department has a lineup of activities for youth from March 16-20, including the return of the obstacle course sponsored by Verus Strength and Fitness. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Marco Almazon clears a tire during last year’s obstacle course in Johnson Park during Spring Break. This year, kids and adults can enjoy plenty of Spring Break activities around the Highland Lakes. The city of Marble Falls and its parks and recreation department has a lineup of activities for youth from March 16-20, including the return of the obstacle course sponsored by Verus Strength and Fitness. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

MARBLE FALLS — Calvin Richard happily accepts the honor of creating the obstacle course and coordinating the co-ed 3-on-3 basketball tournament for Spring Break 2015, which is hosted by the city of Marble Falls.

The obstacle course is 10-11:30 a.m. March 18 at Johnson Park, 230 S. Ave. J. The basketball tournament is 1-3 p.m. March 19 at the court at Westside Park, located at the intersection of Second Street and Avenue Q. Both events are free to participate.

For Richard, who owns and operates Verus Strength & Fitness, it allows him to combine his passion of helping people get physically and emotionally fit.

It just so happens that obstacle course training is one part of his business. And many of his athletes have participated in obstacle course races across the state and nation.

“It gets them out of their normal mindset of a traditional sport,” he said. “A lot of adults are really getting involved. It’s fun, it’s different. You’re balancing strength and coordination. It’s a camaraderie.”

He has witnessed firsthand how obstacle training has helped older athletes. Some struggled with basic movements of sitting and standing. But after working with him, their physical challenges decreased.

The mental impact, however, can’t be measured in movements, he said. Athletes’ self-esteem and self-confidence rise because they can see themselves succeeding in a sporting arena. That helps them in other aspects of their lives, Richard said.

And since he coordinated the Spring Break obstacle course, Richard has observed children’s mindsets change after they go through the course.

“Some will be scared of doing the movements,” Richard said. “You build the self-confidence in these kids. They’ll say, ‘That was pretty fun stuff.’”

Richard will use the monkey bars and other things already at the park. In addition, he’ll bring an agility ladder, ropes and other things from his gym to create the course.

More than 300 children lined up to go through the course last year. Parents typically walk with their elementary-aged children.

“The kids enjoy it,” he said. “The city tells me it’s one of their biggest draws.”

Richard hopes to plant a seed in children for a desire to do some form of physical activity throughout their lives.

“It’s fun and fitness,” he said.

He is equally looking forward to the basketball tournament. Though the event starts at 1 p.m., he encourages teams to get to Westside Park closer to 12:30 p.m. to sign up.

The format will be at least double-elimination with younger-students and older-students divisions. Prizes will be given for the first, second and third in both divisions.

Both events need volunteers because of the interest of children participating.

“We’ll get a good turnout,” Richard said. “I enjoy doing it. It’s part of what I can do to spark some kids to be the best they can coming out of Marble Falls.”

Go to www.marblefallstx.gov for a complete list of Spring Break 2015 activities.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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