WOODWORTH, La. (KALB) – Over the past few summers, one of the most popular television shows on NBC has been American Ninja Warrior. It’s the dream of many kids to get on the course like their favorite contestants.
That dream became a reality for Grant Parish kids on Monday, as they got to spend the day with five time contestant Sam Sann at the Wesley Center in Woodworth.
Nathan Lourie is one of the kids who spent his morning training like a ninja warrior.
“It was fun, but kind of difficult,” said Lourie.
Faith Currie joined in on the training too. Training just like the contestants do for American Ninja Warrior.
“I’ve seen the show, but I’ve never been able to experience anything this challenging before,” said Currie. “It’s really cool.”
The best part they are being trained by one of the best.
“Our goal is to inspire other athletes and children who wants to be part of the Ninja Warrior community,” said Sam Sann.
Sann has been on American Ninja Warrior for the past five seasons.
When he’s not competing, he trains others either at his gym in Houston or on mobile obstacle courses. He said the training is about more than just physical challenges.
“The most important thing is mental,” explained Sann. “To get through an obstacle you have to understand what you’re doing with an obstacle and how to approach it.”
Justin Moran said there’s no better way to train.
“I get to see him in action, and actually get to do all this stuff,” said Moran.
The purpose of Sann’s visit to Louisiana was for Kids Matter 2 Day, a program out of Grant Parish that chooses students ages 10 through 15 from every school in the parish to teach them life skills.
“So many kids grow up now, and they just need some guidance,” said Lamar Briggs, CEO of Kids Matter 2 Day. “We try to provide that to them through the things that we teach them, through the staff that we have, just to promote good character and to give them something positive in their lives.”
Sheriff Steven McCain heard about the program. With the help of Jena Choctaw Pines Casino, he was able to make this event happen for these students.
“I think that any amount of time and resources that we spend with our children, it’s worth every single minute and every effort,” said Sheriff McCain. “Because they really are our future, and our future is behind us, wearing orange shirts, and competing in different obstacles.”
Sam Sann will be at Grant Junior High on Tuesday speaking to all 7th and 8th graders in the parish. The next Kids Matter 2 Day program will be at the end of the spring semester.