Summer score


Even with Maroon student-athletes on summer break, Ratner Athletic Center and the adjacent fields behind it remain packed with ballplayers, swimmers, and goalies gunning for glory. Yet there are no 300-pound linemen here. These superstars dominate the fields and courts with an average height of less than four feet.

The University’s Super Summer Sports Camp is back in session, welcoming students aged 4–16 for fun and games under the instruction of varsity coaches and student-athletes. The program has grown from 41 participants in 1995 to 225 this year, a popularity that camp director and head football coach Dick Maloney attributes to the University of Chicago name and the seven-to-one camper/staff ratio. The camp attracts participants from as far south as 95th Street and as far north as the Loop.

The 2004 session offers morning recreational and afternoon sport-specific activities, including dodgeball, soccer, football, softball, and swimming. “I like a lot of the sports we get to play, and I really like to tear it up on the football field,” says Ryan Williams, 14, a six-year camper. “I get to have fun, make friends, and play.” In fact, 75 percent of this year’s kids have attended sessions in previous years.

First-time campers are also impressed. “It’s been fun to do sports that I like and learn some new ones before we go cool off in the pool,” says Maya Glover, 10.

Today begins the second of the camp’s two three-week sessions, when a new crop of kids gets to resume the home-run hitting and goal scoring.

Sean I. Ahmed, ‘06

July 12, 2004