March 10, 2010

Sports groups launch registration blitz

As published in The Erin Advocate

On Erin's smorgasbord of organized fun, perhaps the most eccentric option is Rocketry. On two Saturdays this summer, Erin Hoops offers budding scientists the chance to build and fly their own rockets, for just $30.

Erin Hoops has expanded its selection of summer camps to 32 this year, with a different mix of activities every week. Most are $45 for the whole week, 9 am to 4 pm, with choices that include basketball, baseball, soccer, skateboarding, tennis, floor hockey, badminton, lazer tag, dance, archery, kites, golf and crafts.

"It offers a broader range for kids," said organizer Patrick Suessmuth, at the February 27 sign-up fair hosted by the Town of Erin Recreation and Culture Committee. Erin Hoops also has a March Break Variety Sports Camp, with supervision from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Go to or call 519-833-2058.

Many children now get into organized sports even before they get into kindergarten. The Hillsburgh Minor Softball Association has their Peanuts group (for kids born in 2006) or T-Ball (2004-2005) for just $40. "It is set up to be fun, and the kids learn together," said Peanut and T-Ball Convenor Doug Todd.

Registration fees range up to $115 for teens. There will also be a Pitching Clinic, April 26-28, with separate sessions for beginners, intermediates and seniors. For more details, go to

Hillsburgh Erin And District Soccer (HEADS) had more than 800 players last year. Early bird registration rates are in effect until March 15, ranging from $90 for the Under 5s to $155 for older groups (family maximum $420). Regular rates are $120 to $200 (family maximum $550). There is a Let Our Kids Play fund to help families who cannot afford the fees.

Debby Gear of HEADS has been impressed with the number of adults willing to coach and take on other duties. "It's nice when you live in a town where everyone works together," she said.

There will be another soccer sign-up session on Saturday, March 20, 10 am to 1 pm in the Centre 2000 lobby. For forms and more details, got to or call their office line, 519-855-4431.

The Erin Tennis Club is expanding its schedule of events and training. The membership cost is the same as last year: $140 per family, or $85 for adults and $50 for juniors (17 and under).

Members do not have to pay additional fees for regular court use or club activities, such as the summer junior program on Tuesday mornings. Membership also includes four free lessons (for both adults and kids), but there are fees for additional lessons.

Junior Spring After School Clinics are $80 for eight one-hour sessions. Half-day summer camp sessions (1-4 pm) are $115 per week, but families can apply to have the cost waived. There will also be a Competitive Player Development Program.

Everyone is invited to a free Try Tennis Day on April 17 at the courts, located behind Centre 2000. For more information on the club, call Brian Gentles, 519-833-9715.

New club pro Doug Ing of No Limits Coaching is starting a Munchkin Tennis class for ages 5 and 6, emphasizing fundamental movement skills. Using smaller racquets, smaller courts and slower balls at first, players progress in stages to regular tennis.

"There is no better way to ensure proper tennis development," said Ing, in his newsletter. "The focus is on physical activity, safety and tennis FUNdamentals. We don't emphasize competition for small children."

About 100 families registered for one thing or another at the fair. While it was mostly for sports, though there were two booths dedicated to reading, one from the Wellington County Library ( promoting their pirate-themed events for March Break and one from Barbara McKee of Tutor in the Hills, 519-927-01010. There was also a display on Erin's walking trails – call Steve Revell at 519-833-2571 for more information.