ROCKINGHAM — Mount Sinai Baptist Church moved into its new building earlier this year in the first of three phases that will see its house of worship grow on Graham Bridge Road. In an effort to help raise funds for new playground equipment, the church is hosting a youth sports fair on Saturday.
The event, which will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is for youths ages 5 to 18 and is $10 per person, but the highlight of the day will be a visit from two-time Super Bowl champion and Hamlet native Perry Williams.
Williams graduated from Richmond Senior High School in 1979, where he then went on to attend North Carolina State University before being drafted by the New York Giants in 1983. He played in the Big Apple as a cornerback for 11 years while winning two titles.
“He has traveled all over the country as a presenter at numerous K-12 schools, colleges and other educational institutions,” said Mount Sinai Hospitality President Debra Johnson. “He has affected the lives of many students by encouraging them to reach their utmost potential. His philosophy is there is no limit to what can be done.”
In addition to Williams, other former coaches and athletes will be in attendance to talk about different sports fields.
Bobby Cooke, who played basketball at Richmond Senior and was a certified high school referee and volunteer coach over the last 13 years, will be on hand to talk hoops.
Terri Mack and Onequa Crump — both fitness instructors — will talk to the kids about physical fitness and gymnastics. Crump is a licensed Zumba Basic I, Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Junior Dance fitness instructor from Rockingham. She teaches Zumba classes for adults at Liberty Place in Rockingham and at the Hamlet Senior Center.
Mack — a certified group fitness instructor — has a total of five certifications in different areas. She’s taught aerobics at FirstHealth Fitness Center for nine years, and prior to that she was an instructor for two years at Slender World Fitness for women. She also started the Divine Dancing Divas for ages 3-17 in Rockingham.
Mack and Crump’s groups will be physically active, as opposed to the other sessions, to give the kids a chance to move around during the three hour fair, said Johnson.
Born in Richmond County, Sensei Billy Little will show youths the art of karate on Saturday. Little began his training in 1990 under the supervision of Sam Jackson, where he learned the art of Taekwondo. After leaving this art he received his black belt in 1996 where he then began teaching karate classes in 1998 in Montgomery County. He moved to Richmond County shortly thereafter and joined the Ebony Dragons under the leadership of Ronnie Covington.
David Ingram, owner of Charlotte-based Entertainment On the Move, will bring his video game truck for kids to play sports games on a variety of different gaming consoles such as the Playstation 4, XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii.
Treating the event similarly to a job fair, Johnson said participants will rotate from session to session throughout the day until everyone has heard from each speaker. Afterwards, the youths will gather in the church sanctuary for a motivational speech and autograph session from Williams to end the fair.
“We wanted to do something for the youth, and Perry Williams — his mother is my Godmother — and he wanted to give back to our church,” said Johnson. “So he said ‘I’ll come speak for you if y’all want me to.’ I said ‘Let me see what I can come up with to raise some funds for the playground equipment.’ Give them something to do and Perry also wanted to give back to the community at our church.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.