The Lake Almanor Elks-sponsored “Hoop Shoot” free throw competition was held after school Jan. 6 inside the Chester Elementary School gymnasium in the first round of the annual event.
The contest is open to boys and girls ages 8-13 and provides youth the opportunity to compete and ultimately to succeed through healthy competition.
The event recognizes and celebrates the physical achievements of local students, explained Elks members Greg McIntire, Kathy and Bud Wasson, and Terry Parsons, who were assisted at the event by John Goolsby who tracked the scores for the boys with Kathy tracking the girls.
After first taking five practice shots, students then “battle” for best score by shooting 25 hoops each. Players who score the highest are then fashioned into a team that go to the next level to compete in the semi-finals at Feather River College on Jan. 12, then later against other schools in the region should they win.
The Elks provided free basketballs printed with their logos to participants who wanted them.
Funded by the Elks National Foundation, the Hoop Shoot is not a fundraiser, but rather a way for the Elks to be involved in youth activities and to encourage them to remain active, while heightening awareness in the community of the organization and its contributions.
McIntire said the competition is designed to provide character building in which contestants learn about the importance of respect, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Through each level of competition, McIntire said challengers support one another and learn to win or accept defeat gracefully.
Chester Elementary School Hoop Shoot contestants and their families will later gather for a dinner at the Elks Lodge on a date to be determined where the winners receive trophies for their participation in the basketball free throw competition.
McIntire stated that the dinner provides an opportunity for families to join together with Elks members to offer praise to the kids for their “can do” attitudes, and is one of the main benefits of participating in the Hoop Shoot event.