Sports in Clovis, California
Clovis is a community where sports play an integral part in the lifestyle. Its vast playing fields, tracks, courts, gymnasiums and pools are busy and occupied year-round, thanks to the area’s enviable weather, said Denver Stairs, assistant superintendent of facility services for the Clovis Unified School District, which owns many Clovis area sports facilities.
“If you drive by virtually any sports field in Clovis between 3 and 5 p.m., you will see school sports teams practicing or competing and then if you drive by again between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. you will find club and recreational teams using those same fields for their practices and games,” Stairs said.
“For instance, Clovis is a huge soccer community for kids from kindergarten through high school, both boys and girls. You will often see six or seven games going on simultaneously on adjoining fields, all seasons of the year,” he added.
During the fall, Clovis youth, depending on their abilities and interests, are playing/competing in football, club soccer, cross country, volleyball, water polo, girls’ tennis, girls’ golf and club rugby.
In winter, the favorite sports are basketball, school soccer and wrestling, while in spring it is girls’ badminton, boys’ tennis, boys’ golf, track, baseball, softball, swimming and diving.
Studies have shown that sports of all kinds improve participants’ mood, concentration and sleep habits; reduce stress and depression; boost self-confidence; help maintain a healthy weight; and develop leadership traits. So Clovis’ attachment to youth sports is a healthy choice and fortunately, studies have also shown that when children start participating in sports at a young age, they are far more likely to stay active as adults, playing softball, baseball and more.
Studies have also shown that participating in a team sport improves academic performance and results in more after-school participation. Furthermore, team sports seem to be breeding grounds for leadership traits because participants have the opportunity to train, try, win or lose together. They are also more likely to adopt a “team” mindset in the workplace.
“Children in Clovis enjoy our emphasis on mind, body and spirit and grow up loving and enjoying sports,” Stairs said. “All of us see the importance of children being involved in a variety of activities. Participating in sports, as well as band, cheerleading and other activities, gives them a sense of belonging and a feeling of school spirit.
“We even have an All Clovis Week when all of the high schools play each other in football and during that week the various high school bands come to the district office to perform. There is a lot of pride involved,” Stairs noted.
Involvement in physical activity and sports carries over to the adults and families, too. The district encourages everyone to use the playing fields for active endeavors.
High school students even have the opportunity to take a course called “Lifetime Sports” that teaches them how to bowl, play golf and tennis and other sports not necessarily associated with schools.
“The whole idea is to create well-rounded students by offering them the most opportunities that we can,” Stairs said.