Elissa Fernandez, mom of seven sporty kids.
Elissa Fernandez didn’t play sports growing up, but she can see the impact that sports participation has had on her kids and fully supports the crazy schedule of having seven kids involved in everything from dance to swimming to football.
Her oldest son, Gabriel, got the family started down the path of organized sports when he was just 2 ½. The Fernandez family didn’t own a t.v. at that time, but they would visit Elissa’s mom, who did have a t.v., in order to watch the Bejing Olympics. Elissa noticed that Gabriel was very interested in watching the gymnasts and Elissa felt inspired to enroll him in a community gymnastics program when he turned 3. “I could see his increased confidence and overall body awareness from the program, and it led to other activities such as swim and dance lessons, and finally football, his favorite sport at the moment.”
As Elissa’s family grew, the younger siblings spent much of their time at the dance studio and sports fields and asked to join in as soon as they were old enough for a program. Elissa especially saw the benefits of sports participation on her younger son, Enoch, when he joined the football program at age 6. “Enoch tended to push boundaries, and I was amazed at how he engaged with the coach and started caring about being healthy and remaining active.”
One of Elissa’s neighbors commented on how active Elissa’s kids are and asked if it was a family requirement. “I told her absolutely not, they just love it and can’t get enough of it!”
“I make dinner at 4 PM and bring it to the field. That’s how we manage everyone’s schedule during the busy season.”
The Fernandez family often eats dinner at the field during football season. “I make dinner at four and bring it to the field. That’s how we manage everyone’s schedule during the busy season.” It’s not easy to afford all these activities when you have seven kids, but Elissa understands how much her kids enjoy it. “When COVID hit and everything shut down, it was so hard on them. They not only missed sports but just getting out to ride their bike, run around, etc. They need to move their bodies.”
Gabriel, now 15, is a multi-sport athlete who hopes to play for the NFL one day (the Seahawks are his favorite team). He enjoys swimming, soccer, and track and field in addition to football. “I remind him that those long-distance runs during track and field practice are going to help him in football,” says Elissa.
Every Kid Sports supports multi-sport athletes by offering the Pass to families four times per year so that kids can play seasonal sports. We celebrate parents like Elissa who understand all the benefits that sports bring to their kids’ lives, and wish Gabriel luck in achieving his NFL dream!
– The Every Kid Sports team