Rockford Community Education

Rockford club produces national champs

May 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

A Rockford program which is just four years old is already setting its sights on the highest levels—and reaching them. On Northland Drive north of 13 Mile Road, drivers may have noticed a sign for the Rockford Sportsmans Club. Neighbors may hear the report of gun shots as members practice their aim. What you won’t see driving by or hear is the swish and thunk of arrows hitting the target. Every Saturday morning a group of talented athletes have been honing their skills as members of the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) program. Archery has been a Rockford Community Education program for years and is so successful classes are often full the day registration opens. Four years ago local sportsmen, including 1984 Olympic archery athlete Glen Myers, decided to crank up the level of competition by starting JOAD at Rockford Sportsmans Club. Since, the team has earned two national championships and is competing at a world-class level. “It’s cool. It’s like an unspoken sport,” said Mikaela (last name withheld by request), 16, who shot her way to 13th place in Indoor Nationals. Mikayla Venoms, 10, and Alice Billin, 15, are two other stars in the program. Both took first place in national competition. Billin said she has been shooting her recurve bow for four years. “I fell in love with recurve and look at that, I’m a national champion.” Most of the archers said they practice daily in addition to the Saturday practice with coaches. In winter the practices are from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. In summer they are outdoors from 10 a.m. to noon. “Our coaches are the best,” said Raija McIntyre, 18. McIntyre is a coach herself and placed eighth in Junior World Trials. She said archery is more than just a sport. “It’s also the friendships we make. We exchange e-mails and see the same people in competition so we keep in touch. They aren’t our competition, they are our friends.” Marti, mother of two of the girls, said archery is more a mental sport than physical, and the archers often help their competitors. If one has an equipment failure, it is not uncommon for another, competing archer, to offer use of their gear. “We aren’t competing against each other,” said Arn […]

Rockford rugby sign ups and practices

February 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

Sign ups and practices are starting for all three Rockford rugby programs.  The high school men’s team have started practice for year 13.  Please check the rugby site for practice times & locations.  Women’s High School Rugby will start practice on Wednesday, February 24 at 6 p.m. at Roguewood Elementary Gym.  If you are interested in playing the only full contact game for high school women, please be at practice before 6 p.m. to collect information and sign up forms. More information can be found at then the women’s rugby page. Youth rugby has started sign ups.  You may sign up at Rockford Community Education office or call 616-863-6322 or email Kirk Gent at at This will be our sixth season of youth rugby and will be playing games with Forest Hills.  sixth, seventh and eighth-grades is a boys full contact rugby game. The program is designed to teach the fundamentals with safety as our first priority. Practices start on Monday March 15 at 6 p.m. at Roguewood Elementary Gym.  second, third, fourth and fifth-grades is a coed non contact rugby game. This program is designed to teach rugby without contact. Practices will begin on Tuesday March 23 at 6 p.m. at Roguewood Elementary Gym. All players are involved in the game with little down time—in other words, not much standing around time. More information can be found at then the youth rugby page.

Letters to the Editor — February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Reader thanks Craig James Dear Editor, I would like to thank Mr. Craig James for casting some light onto the activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is nice to know when the public is being manipulated. It’s disconcerting to hear that a world-renowned and respected authority on climate change admits to publishing claims “purely to put political pressure on world leaders.” With all of the speculation today about global warming and climate change, it would be nice to find a reliable and even honest source for factual, creditable and scientifically supported information, free from political slant and ulterior motives. Due to recent misleading statements and invalid claims, the IPCC clearly does not fit the bill. Molly Mueller, Rockford resident Resident laments Community Education cuts Dear Editor, The intent of this letter is neither to criticize nor condone the recent actions (December) taken by the Rockford Board of Education and Superintendent Shibler regarding budget cuts. Their main focus is to preserve programs for school children with little or no disruption to classrooms. What a lot of Rockford residents don’t realize is the huge loss seniors will feel in the job cut of Marcia Stotz, coordinator for the group Rockford Seniors Unlimited. This is a woman who loved her job and reached out to seniors in Rockford plus many nearby surrounding communities including Grand Rapids. She acted as counselor, teacher, advisor helping those in need of these services. Through Marcia and her work, seniors could socialize with well-planned day trips, luncheons, bingo and other activities. Longer trips created new friendships and continued learning. Without someone like the beloved Marcia organizing these activities, many seniors will be left out of important aspects of their lives they have come to expect and rely on. I can’t say enough about the Rockford Seniors Unlimited Program. Seniors in this community will be losing a loyal, trusting friend in Marcia. She was someone many seniors could count on for motivation in healthy, happy living. She will be sorely missed in her capacity as coordinator. Hopefully the state legislature will restore some education funding so all Rockford school employees can retain their jobs. Is there hope in the new year? A concerned citizen and voter, Eileen Behnke, Rockford resident Story recalls […]

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