Beyond Soccer: Sporty Alternatives for Kids

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Published on Red Tricycle

Kids rock climbing in Oakland
Kids rock climbing in Oakland

Getting hooked on sports at a young age can have immediate and lifelong benefits, like boosting self-confidence, building a healthy body, fostering friendships and learning how to lose with dignity. (Or at least without throwing things.) If your kiddo hasn’t shown much interest in balls, bathing suits or being part of a team, the Bay Area has an abundance of alternatives to the usual youth sports fare. One of them might even lead to a scholarship someday. (But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)

San Francisco’s first climbing gym, Mission Cliffs opened in 1995 in (you guessed it) the Mission district with its jaw-dropping five-story main wall. The parent company, Touchstone Climbing, has since expanded to six locations in the Bay Area, and kids are welcome at all. Their 10-week after-school camps focus on setting and achieving goals, while kids learn essential climbing techniques, knot craft and rappelling. Weekly camps are offered throughout the summer, and each gym has a teen team for kids who get hooked!

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