Kirsten “Coach K” Thomas had a problem. Her athletic programming for kids was going gangbusters and she had a great coaching staff. All she wanted was to do even more for children at The J. “But with teaching all the kids from the Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center the fundamentals of soccer, basketball, T-ball, tennis, and even flag football — plus all the other athletic programs we’re hosting — we were simply out of space,” she says.
She knew that Executive Director Brooke Bowles has expressed a desire for The J to move beyond its walls and take at least some of its programming to the community. So she had an idea: What if The J took its kids athletics show “on the road”?
So Coach K started asking around. What if The J could bring its renowned athletics programming for children to area schools? It didn’t take long for her to garner interest, so she started nailing down the details of what she would name J Sports.
A proven track record
The program capitalizes on The J’s proven track record with its Try Sports program, which exposes curious kids to four different sports over the course of four weeks. J Sports will stretch that program out over 11 months (from February to December), giving participants an eight-week season per sport: moving from basketball to T-ball to flag football, soccer, and finally tennis.
Chabad of Alabama was first to sign on.
“We’re so excited to offer our families a variety of sports,” says Miriam Friedman, director of Jo Ann Hess Morrison Chai Tots. “Not only is it a convenient extra curricular activity for our families, but it will help keep our kids active and healthy.”
“My life journey is driven by a love for sport, and a decade of coaching here at The J has only deepened that feeling,” says Coach K. “I can’t wait to launch this new program with Chabad.”