FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 14, 2013) -- Providing a variety of activities for children on Fort Rucker to participate in is vital to promoting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for youth, and providing different avenues for children to reach these goals is equally important, according to child, youth and school services officials.

Registration for baseball and jump roping will go on through Feb. 28 and provide youth with different ways to stay fit and healthy, according to Leroy Minus, assistant youth sports and fitness director for CYSS.

"Jump roping is something new that we're trying this year and we decided we wanted to try it out ever since Buddy Lee, who is a former Olympian, came and visited last year," said Minus. "He trained us on jump roping [during his time here], and he was great with teaching the proper fundamentals of jump roping and staying in shape."

Another reason jump roping was chosen was to provide variety as well as an individual sport for the youth on Fort Rucker to participate in, he said, adding that it helps children learn about keeping their bodies in shape.

This type of jump roping is instructional and participants will learn about speed jumps, how to properly turn a jump rope and general jump-rope technique, said Minus.

"Being an athlete, I didn't even know there was a technique to jump roping until I was introduced to Buddy Lee," he said. "But that's why we want to work with the children and teach them jump roping because a lot of them don't even know how to jump rope."

The classes are four-week sessions, and when children sign up for jump roping they will be supplied with a jump rope, sponsored by Lee, a jump roping T-shirt and a certificate.

The cost for jump roping is $25 per child for ages 7-18 and will be divided into groups by age to make sure that those with similar fitness levels can participate with each other.

Although the classes are designed for youth, parents and Soldiers can get involved by becoming volunteers to become certified jump rope instructors.

"We're looking for any volunteer who is willing to work with children and is motivated, encouraging, positive, and has a desire to help teach children about fitness and health," said Minus. "As long as they have a desire to help motivate and help others be better and better themselves, then we're all for it and that's our main goal."

Volunteers must be certified and trained through CYSS and the National Alliance for Youth Sports, and submit to a background check to ensure the safety of the children.

For more information on volunteering, call 255-2257 or 255-2254.

For youth interested in a more competitive, team sport, baseball season is around the corner and provides the same health benefits.

"The main thing about baseball is that it's competitive," said Minus. "It's a team sport and the children don't have to be an expert in the game, they just have to come and get some experience and have fun playing baseball."

Baseball registration is $40 per child and teams will be created by age groups, which are: 5-6 year-old tee ball, 7-8 year-old coach pitch, 9-10 year-old minors, 11-12 year-old majors, 13-14 year-old youth and possibly a 15-18 year-old boys league.

Coaches are also needed for baseball, so any Soldier or parent interested in coaching should contact the youth center, said Minus, adding that coaches must go through the same training and background check process as volunteers.

All children who wish to participate in CYSS youth sports programs must meet age requirements by Sept. 1, have a current sports physical and a valid CYSS registration, said Minus.

For more information or to register for baseball or jump roping, call 255-9638 or 255-9105.