Four- and- five-year-olds dash with enthusiasm across the court. A boy in a blue Upward jersey takes a shot and sinks it. His team leaps with excitement, and the parents and family cheer from the sidelines.

After eight exciting weekend games, this season of Upward Basketball and Cheerleading has come to a close. Troy United Methodist Church hosts Upward every year, inviting all families in the community to participate. Troy UMC has leagues for kids beginning at four years old and, this year, added its first high school league.

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Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian sports program for children and is designed to not only teach kids about sports but to equip them with teamwork skills and a positive sportsmanship attitude. Every year, about one million children, coaches, referees and volunteers participate in Upward Sports leagues, and over 2,600 churches host these events.

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During halftime, the children gather in the court and sit down while a Troy UMC staff member shares a devotional with the families listening. Parents hear about how the children’s ministry at Troy UMC can come alongside them in nurturing their children throughout their phases of growth and learning.

Hundreds of children and family members came through the Family Life Center at Troy UMC to participate in Upward Basketball and Cheerleading this season. All community members are invited to participate in the next season of Upward, with registration opening in September.

Learn how to register or volunteer for Upward at

Troy United Methodist Church is one of the largest UMCs in Madison County, IL. Troy UMC is on a mission to reach the Metro East community, making positive change and inviting all people on a journey with Jesus.

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