By Gene Stanley/Staff Correspondent
Young Barbarians, get ready for a Challenge on June 22 at Noccalula Falls Park in Gadsden.
This is the third year for the adult Barbarian event but only the second for the kids’ competition. Gadsden is one of very few cities to offer the event for children.
The YMCA is responsible for there being a kids’ event.
“There were a lot of kids just standing around watching (the first two years),” YMCA Executive Director LeRoy Falcon said. “So
we designed a mini-course just for them. It’s a run full of obstacles. They will climb hills, carry things, pull things and there is a big slide.
“Also, there are rumors of a foam pit in this year’s event.”
While the adults will run approximately four miles, children will go about one mile. There was no mud pit for the youth last year but there will be one for the 2013 event.
Locals, including YMCA personnel, deputies, city employees and others, will work the weekend and do everything from building the obstacles to manning the course to watch for injuries and to make sure everyone stays in compliance of the rules.
Barbarian Challenge founder and president Scott Cochran will be on hand to make sure everything is within the limits set by the foundation.
“The Y is sponsoring the youth race, and I’m in charge of it,” Falcon said.
In other YMCA news, the 6th Street pool is open and entertaining anywhere from 50-100 children per day. If any child doesn’t know how to swim and shows up at the pool, volunteers will teach them to swim, free of charge.
In the planning stages is a pavilion (approximately 45×20 feet) at the pool.
“Many thanks go out to (Etowah Commissioner) Carolyn Parker and Councilman Robert Avery, as well as mayor Sherman Guyton for helping us get the money to build this [pavilion],” Falcon said. “It will be used to hold mini-clinics.”
Falcon also said he is in contact with the Center for Cultural Arts, in hopes of holding art classes and other events at the pavilion.
The Y will also host a couple of basketball camps later in the summer run by Etowah High teacher and coach Jim Bogle.