Student athletes prepare for CANUSA Games in Flint

Athletes are preparing for the CANUSA Games, which will take place in Flint in August.

FLINT (WJRT) (7/4/2019) - For decades, the Greater Flint Olympian CANUSA Games have played a major role in the Flint community.

It’s an effort to bring organized sports programming to student athletes.

"This gives them an opportunity to have sports in the summer and it really helps them grow and helps them learn some different sports that they may not play during the school year,” said Sharon Davenport, the program director for physical activity, sports and nutrition at the Crim Fitness Foundation.

Students from Flint and Genesee County compete against each other in teams. They play a number of sports like basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, bowling and track.

By playing in the games, students go on to bigger and better things as they improve over time.

"We've had many people go on to professional sports like Clarissa Shields. She went to the Olympics,” Davenport said.

Isaiah Alexander is a seventh-grader hoping to be an NBA star. This is his first year playing in the series of games.

"It's a good privilege, it's going make me better,” Alexander said.

The athletes who perform well in the Greater Flint Olympian Games will be selected by coaches to represent Flint in their respective sport at the CANUSA Games.

"It's the kid that is consistent that comes to practice, has a great attitude and really wants to learn how to play the game,” Davenport said.

The students will play against student athletes from Canada

"Those Canadians coming over here, they'll get an opportunity to experience our culture and what we're really like in Genesee County," said community athletic director Mike Maienbrook.

The opening ceremony is at 1 p.m. Aug. 9 at Atwood Stadium in Flint. Coaches are hoping the community comes out to support the athletes.