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Upward Sports at First Church


In a time where families are pulled in a million different directions, the Spokane First Church of the Nazarene is bringing families and the community together. Upward Sports, the world’s largest Christian sports league for children, attracts more than 550,000 kids each year with its unique approach—teaching skills for the sports arena and values for life.

It’s common for entire families to be involved in Upward Sports: for example, mom can volunteer as a greeter; kids play basketball or cheer; and dad and or mom coaches a basketball team. Even Grandpa can be involved in Upward Sports League by refereeing basketball games!

Spokane First Church of the Nazarene has hosted Upward Sports, including basketball and cheer for over 8 years—coaching and mentoring more than thousands of Spokane-area kids.

Upward Sports – Basketball and Cheerleading 

Registration opens Monday, September 26.
Early registration for basketball is $100.  After October 24 – $120.
Early registration for cheerleading is $90.  After October 24 – $100

Upward Evaluations – Saturday, November 5.
10:00am – Kindergarten Boys/Girls
11:00am – 1st & 2nd Grade Boys/Girls
12 Noon – 3rd & 4th Grade Boys/Girls
1:00pm – 5th & 6th Grade Boys/Girls

Cheerleading: All ages Noon to 2:00pm

Practices start the week of December 5th
First games – Saturday, January 7, 2017
Awards Ceremony – Sunday, February 26, 2017


For news and updates:

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We are always looking for great volunteers to coach, ref and help in other ways! Think and pray about being a volunteer for the 2016-2017 season.


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About Upward Sports

Founded in 1995 by Caz McCaslin, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian sports league for children. The first-class sports programming—which includes basketball, flag football, soccer and cheerleading—provides a fun sports experience based on healthy competition for kids, teaching skills for the sports arena and values for life. Today, more than 550,000 children in 47 U.S. states and Canada participate in Upward Sports Leagues hosted by over 2,400 churches.

Upward Values

The Expectation of God Moments
We believe that God is at work all around us.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 
The Life of Integrity
We believe that how we live is more important than what we say.
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 
The Opportunity to Serve
We believe that it is a privilege to serve others.
Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. 
The Discipline of Excellence
We believe in exceeding expectations.
Colossians 3:17 – And whatever you do, whether in word or deed; do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The Priority of Children
We believe that every child is a winner.
Matthew 18:14 – In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Upward Sports

What is Upward Sports?

Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian-based kids sports league. Last year, nearly 550,000 children in48 U.S. states and Canada participated in Upward Sports Leagues and Camps hosted by more than 2,400churches.

How is Upward Sports different from other youth sports organizations?

 Upward Sports provides a fun sports experience based on healthy competition for kids, teaching skills for the sports arena and values for life. Upward Sports creates a positive environment for kids to learn sport skills without the pressure of “win-at-all-cost” leagues. With supportive coaches, equal playing time and a family-friendly schedule, Upward Sports Leagues are fun for the whole family.

How and when did Upward Sports begin?

 In 1986, while serving as a church recreation minister in Upstate S.C., Caz McCaslin developed a basketball league that incorporated athletic skills and values for success on and off the court. When the program outgrew the church’s gymnasium in 1994, McCaslin realized that his vision was to reach children beyond his local congregation with a first-class sports experience. As a result, he founded what is now known as UpwardSports.

How many Upward Sports Leagues exist and where are they located?

There are more than 5,000 Upward Sports Leagues and Camps in 48 U.S. states and Canada. Since 1995,partner churches have also conducted Upward Sports Programs in 67 countries while on mission trips. At Spokane First Church of the Nazarene we offer Basketball and Cheerleading. You can find other sports leagues or camps near you. 

Who can participate in Upward Sports?

Each year some one million people around the world play, coach, referee or volunteer in Upward SportsLeagues and Camps specially designed for K5 through sixth-grade children. With more than 5,000 leagues and camps conducted by over 2,400 churches across the U.S. and Canada, children and volunteers of any faith or no faith are welcome to participate. 

What will a child in an Upward Sports League take away from his or her experience?

 Participants gain both athletic skills and values for success on and off the court—including sportsmanship, teamwork, integrity and respect. Young athletes enjoy valuable game-time experience that improves their skills and builds healthy self-confidence as they learn from coaches who care. But Upward Sports is even more thana game-day experience, providing youth with a supportive community and fun activities to help them develop character.

How is it possible to give every child equal playing time?

Upward Sports Leagues offer competitive games through a drafting system created to balance talent on each team. Combined with a unique substitution system, this enables Upward Sports Leagues to provide kids with equal playing time over the course of a season. 

Does a child’s family have to be a member of a church in order to for him/her to participate?

 No, Upward Sports is a community-based kids sports program most frequently hosted by a church. Children and volunteers of any faith—or no faith—participate in Upward Sports.