HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — Parents in the Hudsonville community got a night off on Saturday thanks to the eighth annual 'Kids Rock the Gym' event at Hudsonville high school.
"It was Valentine's day yesterday so parents get a date night I guess," laughed Eagles guard Alaina Diaz.
"My brother is going to homecoming or something with his girlfriend so it was nice to get me out of the house," said fourth grader Kyra Poisson.
"My mom wanted some alone time and I wanted to come here because my friends are here," fifth grader Cooper Martinez added, "and I wanted to hang out with them and have a good time with them."
It really is a win-win for parents and kids alike as the youth enjoyed a night full of fun, all put on by the Hudsonville girls basketball program.
"We have a great community, they're very supportive," head coach Casey Glass said, "they come out to all of our games, so it's fun for us to give back. It's also an opportunity for us to get kids in the gym, our girls love it, it's something away from basketball."
And with it being the eighth annual, many of the players in the program once attended this event.
"It's cool to see how we got to grow up through it and now we're the ones who got to grow up through it," senior Alex Kachur said, "now, we're the ones who can teach the younger kids and hangout with them."
"It's fun to see the little kids, kind of how I was and how I would look up to them, kind of how they do with us now," freshman Maddie Petrolje added.
And this year brought an outstanding turnout as 143 kids between kindergarten and sixth grade packed the gym, taking part in many different activities including dodgeball and basketball shootouts.
"I like hanging out with my friends and playing basketball," sixth grader Carter Bottrell said, "there's just a lot of positivity, it's fun to come here knowing your friends will be here and have a good time."
It's great for the players in the program as well, to step out of their comfort zone a little bit and spend time with the younger kids.
"Some of the kids are really shy when they get here," senior Chloe Elliott said, "and it's fun to meet them all and comfort them to make sure they have a fun night."
A night like Saturday's 'Rock the Gym' brings the community together and shows that sports are much bigger than just a game and a result.
"If these kids leave here and the only thing they know is wins and losses then I didn't do my job," Glass mentioned. "That's really what it comes down to, is trying to get them in the community and giving back, doing a great thing for everybody."