Auburn University School of Kinesiology to celebrate Olympic Day June 20 with Youth Team Handball clinic and tournament

Published: June 08, 2015
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In celebration of Olympic Day, Auburn University's School of Kinesiology will host a team handball clinic and tournament, including wheelchair team handball, for students in grades four through seven, June 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

With the help of physical education faculty member Peter Hastie and Pick Elementary physical education teacher Charles Cooper, students will learn about team handball and have an opportunity to play the game. Reita Clanton and other Olympians will help kick off the event by sharing stories of their Olympic Games experiences. Many of the U.S.A. Men and Women National Team Handball players will be in attendance to help instruct.

The team handball clinic will teach children the basic techniques of throwing, dribbling, offense and defense, as well as the rules of the game. The tournament to follow will consist of short-sided games of a few minutes, culminating with a championship game. Children will also have an opportunity to test their handball skills while using a wheelchair with the assistance of kinesiology doctoral student Jared Rehm who runs the wheelchair basketball program at Auburn. Photo opportunities with the Olympians and National Team Players will occur after the tournament.

"We are excited to take part in Olympic Day and inspire kids in the Auburn community," said Clanton, coordinator of performance and health optimization at the School of Kinesiology and Team Handball Olympian in 1984 and 1986. "I love the spirit of Olympism and encouraging children to lead healthy, active lives."

"We have been playing team handball at Pick Elementary for over a year now and the kids love it," Cooper said. "I am excited to share the sport with more youth in the area and to continue to grow the sport in our community and state."

The United States Olympic Committee recently designated three separate facilities on the Auburn campus as official Olympic training sites. Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum, Watson Fieldhouse and the College of Education's Kinesiology Building will display the Olympic rings this fall as Auburn assists the men's and women's USA Team Handball teams.

Olympic Day is commemorated on June 23 all over the world but can be celebrated throughout the month of June. The School of Kinesiology's handball clinic and tournament is one of more than 1,000 events taking place nationwide to engage youth and promote the ideals of the Olympic movement, feature athlete appearances, family-friendly activities and interactive learning experiences.

Celebrated by millions of people in more than 160 countries, Olympic Day was created in 1948 in honor of the birth of the modern Olympic Games. It focuses on Olympic values and ideals such as fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. In the United States, Olympic Day events range from small gatherings to large, city-wide events.

For more information about Auburn's Olympic Day activities, contact Kristin Roberts, coordinator of Performance and Health Optimization, at kar0032@auburn.edu or (334) 844-8055. To register a fourth- through seventh-grade child for Olympic Day, email kar0032@auburn.edu with the child's name and grade entering in the fall of 2015.