More than eight hundred local students will be on the campus of The University of Texas at Tyler over the next two months, getting instruction in one of UT Tyler’s athletic summer camps.
The summer camp season began this week with the Patriots holding a girls’ basketball team camp, with five area schools taking the court at the Herrington Patriot Center for instruction from coach Terri Deike and her players.
“We have some of my student-athletes here who have played for me before,” Deike explains, “so they can teach the skills as well as I can. We’re having a great time getting together and working with the campers.”
The Patriots soccer camps also kick off this weekend, followed by baseball, softball, and tennis next week. In all, more than eight hundred participants will take place in twenty different camps held in seven sports.
The campers will not only get instruction from the Patriots coaches and award-winning student-athletes, but also get to see the ever-improving campus and facilities at UT Tyler.
“Some of these kids come from the outlying areas,” Deike said, “so these are a lot of kids who would not be on this campus otherwise. We want them to understand that UT Tyler is a place for everybody. I think it’s important we come up here and take time to get out of the gym for a while, and let them see more of the school and the campus life.”
Deike knows her campers are not just high school athletes, but also prospective UT Tyler students. For many, the camps are their first trip to the campus.
“We go from 9 to 4, and we break at noon for lunch and we bring them down to the University Center so they can look around, see the campus, and get a bit of a different look at UT Tyler.”
“At lunch today, I saw three girls from Canton who just walked into the bookstore. They might buy a UT Tyler t-shirt and wear it home, or to Dallas, or the waterpark, or wherever.”
For high school students especially, being on campus over the summer is a good way to be introduced to college life.
“One thing I like about it,” Deike said, “is instead of these kids still being scared about college, after being here and eating in the Subway and the Grille, and sitting in the UC, and going into the bookstore, and playing in the gym, they seem more comfortable and feel like it’s kind of a part of them. They’re not nervous anymore.”
“I think it breaks down a lot of barriers that might get them thinking about college, and UT Tyler.”
UT Tyler offers a variety of camps, including general and position camps, day and residential camps, and individual and team camps. For more information on UT Tyler’s summer athletic camps, please visit the UT Tyler website.