Child Development Center

Lessons in Sportsmanship

Children learn from a UT archer and an Olympic medalist

bryant surrounded by children

Bryant Chambers explained his archery equipment to children in the San Jacinto playground.

December 11, 2006 — The Child Development Center’s San Jacinto location enjoyed visits from some accomplished, informative athletes last week. The children learned about archery from Bryant Chambers, of the UT Archery Club, and got to ask Kristi Coventry about her experience swimming in the 2004 Olympics.

Bryant Chambers awed the children when he demonstrated his archery techniques, and was happy to indulge their curiosity in a lengthy discussion about what kind of arrows Robin Hood may have used. Assistant Director Ruth La Brayere said, “The children were fascinated with the equipment, surprised by the loud sound the bow made, and amazed that all of the arrows landed so close together.”

The children were also excited to meet Kristi Coventry, the backstroke swimmer who has won gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals. Kristi let the children try on her medals, and the children were delighted that she had “one of each” type of medal to share with them. They also took the opportunity to ask what the different medals symbolize, and why gold is the best.

girl holds gold medal

Children got a taste of Olympic gold when they tried on Kristi Coventry’s Olympic medals.

Kristi is actually an extended member of the Child Development Center community, because Kim Bracken, the proud mother of two center children, is her coach. Kim, who is also the head coach of the Texas Longhorns Women’s Swimming and Diving, coached Kristi at the 2004 Summer Olympics and will coach her at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Ruth La Brayere, who organized these special visits, said all the children and staff plan to watch Kristi swim in the next Olympics. Everyone is grateful to Bryant and Kristi for sharing their passion for sports with the Child Development Center, and, according to Ruth, this hands-on learning opportunity was a great way to make use of “our diverse university resources.”