Sports camp collaborations on the horizon for SunUte, FLC


SunUte Community Center is working in collaboration with neighboring Fort Lewis College (FLC) to offer three different sporting camps for all boys and girls ages eight to 17 within the area, offering soccer, basketball, and volleyball camps.  

These camps are set to be held at SunUte, beginning with soccer on Friday, Aug. 11, followed by basketball on Sunday, Aug. 13, and concluding with the volleyball session on Saturday, Aug. 19. SunUte hopes to help youth in recognizing the achievability of collegiate sports and education through connection with athletes and coaches of FLC. 

In a brief interview with SunUte Director Robin Duffy-Wirth and Recreation Coordinator Clay Seibel, they share their dreams of bringing FLC athletics to the Ignacio community to share with youth. “We presented this idea [to FLC Staff and Coaches] and then we talked about this dream of bringing Fort Lewis athletics to Ignacio,” Duffy-Wirth said. “Eventually after [Sports Camp] happens for a couple of years, hopefully the kids will be like ‘I want to go to a match,’ ‘I want to go to Fort Lewis’ — again it’s opening the doors and opening the opportunity for [youth]”. 

Growing up, Seibel had many athletes he looked up to who inspired him and hopes this camp will give local youth the same. “One guy that comes to mind every time is Alex Herrera–born and raised in this community, playing with my brother’s team, I was ten years old at the time watching them play and now seeing him play pro basketball in Germany … that is so exciting,” Seibel said. “That’s just one thing that I always looked up towards as a kid, like hey if he could do it, he can come out of a small community then what’s holding me back? What’s holding everyone else back?” 

Seibel also goes on to thank fellow recreation coworker Cyrus Naranjo for his assistance in organizing this event. “Cyrus Naranjo, he helped a lot too–he did the underground work in a sense and I want to congratulate him as well.” 

SunUte Community Center and Fort Lewis College continue to share ideas and strategies to break the stigma, helping smaller communities and their youth recognize that attending college is achievable for anyone. With the upcoming sports camps children throughout the community of Ignacio and other surrounding communities are encouraged to attend and work alongside Fort Lewis coaches and athletes, familiarizing themselves with the organization.  

This camp is open to all Southern Ute tribal members and first descendants who are offered free attendance and for the rest of the community, SunUte is asking $5 per camp or $10 for all three camps.  For more information about the upcoming Sports Camp or SunUte Community Center please contact them at 970-563-0214.  

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