Saturday Sports

Play: What Is It?

I have been working on a blog about Play for some time now.  However, I hadn’t been able to narrow my focus well enough to share some of the things I have come to know about play in a concise and effective way. That being said, my intent is to simply share bits and pieces of the things that I have come to know about play. I’ll begin with an attempt to answer this question: “What is play exactly, anyway?”.

Brian SemsemPlay: What Is It?
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5 Fun Saturday Sports Activities! (Oct 2017)

Hey Saturday Sports Leaders & Volunteers!

At our last 20/Twenty event, I committed to trying to send out five new game ideas each month. Some of these activities you may already be familiar with and some may be new ones!

My hope is that we are sharing new game and activities ideas with each other so that we can Build A Saturday Sports Learning Community! In this community, we continue to develop and grow each of our Saturday Sports ministries.

Brian Semsem5 Fun Saturday Sports Activities! (Oct 2017)
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Opportunity Ignites On The Soccer Field

Love, hard work, dedication and service sums up the story of Saturday Sports participant, Chris Rosas. With stated goals to become a pediatrician, help provide for his family and raise the Saturday Sports attendance, Rosas makes it a priority to invest positively into the lives of others.

Rosas graduated last May from Fresno Pacific University and returned to the Saturday Sports program after taking some time away to finish school. He commented on the young talent and hinted at his goal to raise the level of competition on the field at Susan B. Anthony, where he presides over the soccer games.

Leah BighamOpportunity Ignites On The Soccer Field
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A Neighbor to the Little Ones

A couple months before I began working with ENP I made the decision to live in an intentional community for ten months at the Pink House located in the inner city of Fresno.

During the ten months of living with 11 other brothers and sisters within a facility of four apartments, we learned about numerous topics, such as: Reconciliation, Christian Community Development, Biblical Community, Leadership Development, and Evangelism, to list a few. Among all the topics we studied as interns, the simplest of them all was one that resonated with me the most . . . the topic on God’s commandment to love our neighbor.

Carol YoungA Neighbor to the Little Ones
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“This is so much fun!” I cherish those words I heard from students on my first day as a volunteer at Ericson Saturday Sports!

ENP’s mission is to “to connect churches and community partners to elementary schools and to equip them to serve through their active presence in every neighborhood.” What it boils down to is being a better neighbor.

andrewfeil“THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!”
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Saturday Sports

 “Just go outside and play.”

Do those words bring back memories from your childhood? Playing outside was what most kids did for fun, but it isn’t quite as simple today as it was back then.

SATURDAY SPORTS will be up and running, full force by mid September at 32 sites all over Fresno. The majority of the programs are in SE & SW Fresno, where sitting in the house, watching TV, or playing video games are more common activities for kids in many of our neighborhoods.

SATURDAY SPORTS gives kids the opportunity to go outside and play, not only in a safe “green space”, but with folks who deeply care about them and want to make an impact in their lives.  That’s why so many churches see Saturday Sports as a simple outreach and great way to connect with kids and families and ultimately find many ways other ways to love and serve our city.

Map showing partnerships that offer Saturday Sports Programs

Last year more than 2,200 kids had the opportunity to “go outside and play” at Saturday Sports, and it’s so much more than SPORTS!  Crafts, games, fun . . . and of course, sports, if you want.  But more like it was “back in the day” when kids went outside to jump rope, play four-square, shoot hoops with dad, or play a game of baseball in the street with friends.

More Saturday Sports programs are needed in Fresno!  There are lots of kids who would love to play outside, and need people in their lives to love them, and encourage them, and help them see their value and potential.

Northpointe Church has been hosting a Saturday Sports Program at Toby Lawless Elementary for the past 4 years.  A real impact is being made in the lives of these kids!  Check out the video and see for yourself.

After you watch it, ask yourself if can think of a church that might be interested in coming alongside and supporting an existing Saturday Sports Program, or if you know folks who might like to volunteer to take attendance each week at one of the Saturday Sports sites.  We also need several volunteers each week to pick up lunches at Poverello House and deliver them to Saturday Sports.  Financial donations are also welcome.

There are lots of ways to love and serve our city, and most importantly, give these kids a chance to be kids!

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information about ENP.  We love helping folks get connected to serve!

Donations Welcome

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andrewfeilSaturday Sports
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Great Fun Hoopin’ it Up!

The gates opened at 9am on Saturday morning and kids began to arrive to “Hoop It Up”! They had fun hanging out with friends and practicing until it was their time to compete.

The boys were ready to compete!

There was one little girl however, who was looking a little sad.  We asked her what was wrong.  She quietly replied, “The boys said that girls can’t play basketball.”  We reminded her that was NOT the case and ushered her over to the check-in table.  She signed in, put her blue t-shirt on and began practicing.

Kids in our partnership neighborhoods don’t have many opportunities to participate in competitions like Hoop It Up. This was a morning of fun for them and a new experience for many.

patiently waiting their turn

89 kids participated from nine different schools. Each child received a very cool Hoop It Up t-shirt (thanks to our awesome sponsors) and then waited for their turn at the free throw line. Everyone had fun!

. . . some kids needed a little extra help 1st, 2nd & 3rd place medals were awarded at the end of the morning in all age categories


Fun morning for everyone!


GREAT group of volunteers!

Thanks to our great group of volunteers who had fun interacting with the kids & helped make Hoop It Up a huge success!

 Kids had the chance to compete (a new experience for many of them).
–  It was another opportunity to promote health and fitness.
–  Hoop it up brought more awareness of the value of Saturday Sports and the need for mentoring kids in our Fresno Neighborhoods
–  and we raised enough money to purchase sports equipment for 30+ Saturday Sports Programs that will start up again in the fall!

Thank to Kaiser Permanente, J&D Foods, Fresno Housing Authority, Cargill, Torosian & Walter, NY Life, Spirit Radio, Fresno Breast Surgery, Spike & Rail, Holiday Inn Swan Court, FS Lawn, Bobby Salazar’s, and a lot other friends of ENP who helped sponsor kids to compete in the event!

We also want to thank Principal Tharpe for allowing us to Hoop It Up at Olmos Elementary!

Special thanks to Walgreens who not only provided unlimited water for everyone, but came in person to hand it out throughout the morning AND even helped with the competition.

Thanks also to the Fresno State Nonprofit Management Class and Professor Zhanna Bagdasarov who assisted ENP in planning and seeking sponsorships for Hoop It Up!

This day was a beautiful picture of MANY in our community coming together for the kids!  We at ENP value the partnerships we have with churches, businesses, universities, and our schools and know that Fresno is a better place because there are SO MANY who want to be part of the transformation!

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ALSO WORTH NOTING: The first medal was awarded to A GIRL!  Who said “girls can’t play basketball” anyway!

* The first medal was awarded to A GIRL!!!

andrewfeilGreat Fun Hoopin’ it Up!
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Let’s “Hoop It Up” for our Kids!

On the morning of Saturday, May 30th, Olmos Elementary will be filled with kids trying to reach a goal as they compete with other kids their age in ENP’s Hoop it Up Basketball Competition.

THEIR GOAL: To make baskets from various spots on the key and get points for each basket!


ENP has several goals for the day as well!
The purpose of this event is to promote the importance of physical activity, bring awareness of the value and need for mentoring kids in our Fresno neighborhoods, and raise funds for Saturday Sports.


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– Participants will receive an event t-shirt
– 1st, 2nd, 3rd place Medals will be given
in each of the following categories:

1st grade and under
2nd-4th grade
5th-6th grade}
7th-8th grade
High School

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We are also looking for folks who would like to sponsor a child from one of our partnership neighborhoods to participate in the event.


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andrewfeilLet’s “Hoop It Up” for our Kids!
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Throughout the year we have the privilege AND JOY to work alongside so many people who have a heart for our city! We are thankful for each one of them and blessed as we watch the many ways folks are engaging our city, and so generously giving their time, gifts, talents and treasures to invest in the lives of children, families and schools in our Fresno neighborhoods.

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Saturday Sports leaders & volunteers
who give up a few hours on their Saturday mornings to spend time with kids.

30 Saturday Sports Programs
average of 1500 kids each week

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Volunteers who help out during the week in classrooms and on school campuses.

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Thanks to churches who are more than just a building in the neighborhood, but seeking ways to bless children and families while serving with a giving heart to show Christ’s love to our city.

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Drivers who deliver lunches to Saturday Sports

Photographers who help us capture the JOY

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Community Partners
who share the same vision for a thriving city!

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Fresno State and Fresno Pacific students who add energy & enthusiasm to Saturday Sports & as tutors in classrooms

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Parents who are volunteering (investing) in their neighborhoods and schools; a simple way for them to grow and exercise their residential leadership.

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Young people who are volunteering while becoming leaders and role models in their communities

 to  those who support ENP financially!
Individuals, churches, Businesses and foundations make it possible for ENP to continue equipping and connecting people who have a heart to serve, with opportunities to invest in a city that we all love.

As we serve, we learn about each other, and we learn more about ourselves. We understand and appreciate the unique diversity of our city and grow to love the people who become a rich part of our lives!

So much of giving comes from a thankful heart. It TRULY is “in giving that we receive”. Ask anyone who spends time with kids and families in our partnership neighborhoods! The blessings are huge!


May YOU be truly blessed
as you give thanks this week!

From all of us at ENP!

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