Let Your Kids Be Ninjas for a Good Cause

Julie Bitely

| 3 min read

If you’ve never watched the television show “American Ninja Warrior”, go find a YouTube clip before you read the rest of this. Like this one. Or this. Or this. We’ll wait.
Okay, inspired? The daring feats of strength and agility and jaw-dropping obstacles featured on the show are coming to one Michigan town this weekend.
The Rockford Ninja Warrior event takes place this Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11 at 7737 Childsdale Ave. NE in Rockford. Registration for the adult pro-level course is full, but a junior course will be set up for kids.
Those 14 and younger can attempt the course for a $10 fee on a first-come, first-served basis. Kids who make it all the way through will receive a free Rockford Ninja Warrior t-shirt and those who don’t will still walk away with a $5 voucher for Rockford Ninja Warrior merchandise. For those who think it looks too challenging, there will also be a bounce house, a bouncy obstacle course, and rock climbing wall that kids can take advantage of, free of charge.
The event is being put together by BridgeWay Community Church. Proceeds will go toward two youth causes in the Rockford community. Most will be put toward a youth center BridgeWay hopes to eventually build – a place for local youth to come and hang out.
A portion of proceeds will also benefit the Rockford Public Schools’ Developing Healthy Kids program, which is dedicated to battling adolescent depression, suicide, and drug abuse, as well as helping students to navigate their social scene.
“We wanted this to be an event that is going to give back to the community,” said Cameron Versluis, a youth pastor at BridgeWay.
The adult course starts with the quintuple step, an obstacle where competitors will hop from one platform to another. Next up is a balance bean on chains.
“You really have to be on top of your game to get across that,” Versluis said.
Wide-set monkey bars will force competitors to swing their body, only to be rewarded with two rope swings they’ll have to take on. Swinging ladders follow and then the only thing standing between athletes and the finish is a 14-foot warped wall.
“It’s a professional level ninja warrior course,” Versluis said.
Although not affiliated with the show, actual American Ninja Warriors will conquer the course on Saturday starting at 6 p.m. A complete list of the athletes scheduled to appear can be found here. It’s free to come and watch if you’re looking for some inspiration.
“That is going to be wildly awesome. We’ve basically picked the best of the best. It’s going to be so cool,” Versluis said.
He said the junior course is scaled back, but will still provide a serious challenge for kids to complete. Whereas the Rockford Ninja Warrior course is designed to be the same level as the TV show, the kids’ course could be compared to the obstacles you’d see on the show “Wipeout”.
“It’s not going to be a picnic to get through,” he said.
For the adults signed up, Versluis said the event really isn’t designed for typical weekend warriors. Many people who’ve committed to participate are personal trainers and other professional-level athletes.
Whether you’re looking to be inspired by some very fit individuals or are looking for a fun way for your kids to have an active weekend, the Rockford Ninja Warrior event has you covered! Get all the details on their website.
Photo credit: Mr. Moon

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