At the Y, we understand that when kids play sports, they do more than just exercise. Besides being physically active, they develop higher self-esteem, perform better in school and work better in groups. The Y’s youth sports programs go above and beyond teaching the fundamentals of the game by emphasizing the importance of teamwork. And, it’s our dedicated sports instructors that help to guide and train our young athletes at the Greater Joliet Area YMCA.
In recent weeks, you may have seen a new face around the Morris Community YMCA. That new face belongs to long-time Y staffer and the Morris Y’s new Sports Director Chris Interial. Interial first began his Y career in 2009 as a Building Supervisor and Sports Instructor at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield. As a former collegiate athlete and sports enthusiast, he quickly found his niche coaching kids in the Y’s Youth Sports programs.
Since joining the Greater Joliet Area Y team, Interial has spent most of his time working with local young athletes. And, he has demonstrated a true passion for youth development through organizing countless youth sports programs in Plainfield, and most recently in Morris. He and his sports team have an exciting summer planned with a variety of summer sports camps, which will kick off on Monday, June 3.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Interial: I grew up in Decatur, IL and I am the oldest of five children. Sports have always played a major role in my life. I grew up playing basketball, baseball, football, and golf. I even went on to play baseball in college at Lincoln College in Lincoln, IL, and then at Millikin University in Decatur, IL.
Q: What are you passionate about in life?
Interial: I am passionate about coaching and helping others. I enjoy seeing a kid who is very passionate about a sport and watching him/her evolve as an athlete.
Q: How did you find the Y?
Interial: My mom worked at the Y and I was a Y member. One night, I was playing basketball and I found out the Y was hiring. I enjoyed coaching sports and working with kids, so I figured why not? Looking back, that one night was the beginning of what I hope will be a long career at the YMCA.
Q: As the new Sports Director at the Morris Y, what exciting programs do you have planned?
Interial: In addition to our summer sports camps, I am looking to introduce a number of new sports programs for preschool and kindergarten-aged children in the Morris and Grundy County. And, I look forward to enhancing the Y’s great sports programs that are already established throughout the community.
Q: What role do you believe sports plays in youth development?
Interial: Sports teaches kids how to work with others and be part of a team. They get to build social skills outside of school and have new experiences.
Q: What are some of your favorite professional sports teams?
Interial: I am definitely a Chicago Cubs and a Dallas Cowboys fan!
As a reminder, there is still time to register for sports camps at the Morris Y. To learn more about summer sports camps, please visit the Y’s website or stop by the Membership Desk during your next visit. If you have questions about summer camps or the Y’s youth sports programs, you can stop by Interial’s office the next time you visit the Morris Community Y. Or, you can email him directly at [email protected].