Upward Sports
Growing to Serve God Since 1833 | Service Time Sunday 10:30 AM
First Congregational United Church of Christ | 6494 Belsay Road Grand Blanc, Michigan 48439

Upward Sports

Purpose Statement

The purpose of UPWARD is to recognize that "Every Child Is a Winner" by promoting:

Salvation: To share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone involved in the Upward Ministry.

Character: To help every child grow as Jesus did--spiritually, physically, mentally and socially.

Self-Esteem: To help every child grow in their understanding and enjoyment of sports.


Upward Enters its 8th Season
Eight years ago FCUCC decided to reach out into the community and join a new sports ministry called Upward.  Upward is a sports ministry with programs such as flag football, basketball, soccer, and cheerleading.  Upward Sports programs are run by thousands of churches across the country.  It brings hundreds of thousands of children closer to Christ through sports.  Our church specializes in basketball and cheerleading.

The first year of our basketball program we had 115 children sign up.  The next year we added cheerleading  and almost doubled our enrollment.  This year with the growing opportunities in the community, FCUCC has decided to focus our Upward ministry towards K through 3rd grade children.

Now in our 8th season a lot has changed since the first year.  New basketball hoops, new balls, new lighting and sound system, additional bleachers just to name a few.   What has not changed is our commitment to introducing children to Christ through sports.  It is at the core of our program.

Game Days
There is nothing more exhilarating than an Upward Saturday.  Every new game brings chills.  To see the lights dim and the music begin to blare.  To see the lighting and fog machines begin to erupt.  To hear Ladd’s voice echo through the gym with the names of the players for that game, it is so electrifying you will swear you were at a Piston’s game!  Speaking of the Pistons, we had a member of their marketing team tell us our program “is the best run program he has been too!”  That is high praise!

Upward Basketball players are divided according to ability and height, as well as practice availability and coaches' schedules, to create teams of similar talent. We do our best to take into consideration all given constraints of your schedules as families, each player's skill level, and the availability of our volunteer coaching staff to create balanced teams in the best interest of player development.

This FCUCC Upward sports ministry is specifically designed for kindergarten through third grade boys and girls of all denominations or un-churched individuals. This unique ministry/program believes every child plays equally, every child learns and every child is a winner. Opportunities to participate will include praying for the program, coaching a team, refereeing, sharing devotions or simply being a greeter.

Game Day and Practice Stars
Regardless of the score at the end of the game, Upward Basketball players should always leave the gym feeling excited and affirmed for their efforts on game day. End-of-game awards motivate children to strive to be Christ-like and also refocus the child’s and coach’s attention on sportsmanship and good attitudes instead of on winning.

Distributing the multi-colored stars at the end of a game affirms a child’s effort, encourages him or her to keep playing, and helps reinforce a love of learning over a love of winning. This can be a very special time for the children, as family members sit in on the presentation and cheer as the stars are awarded.

Blue represents Best Effort  
Gold represents Best Sportsmanship/Spirit
Gray represents Best Offense/Cheer
Red represents Best Defense/Leadership
White represents Christ-likeness
Green represents Scripture Verses at Practices

UPWARD food drive:
At FCUCC, one way our players and coaches do God's work in our community is through Upward basketball & Cheerleading. Over last 3 years we collected over 10,000 non-perishable items for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.  Grand Blanc View: Article

Watch the Upward Video


2015 Registration & Events

• Online registration at http://registration.upward.org/UPW57131
• Hand written registration forms can be picked up at the church during business hours on Tuesday and Wednesday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Thursday 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM at 6494 Belsay Rd.  

All participants must attend one basketball evaluation or cheerleading orientation.
• First evaluation Tuesday November 18th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM
• Second Evaluation Sunday November 23rd from 5:00 to 7:00 PM
• Practices will begin the week of January 5, 2015
• Games begin Saturday January 24th
• Final game and Award celebration March 14th

Updates & events can be followed on Facebook at “Grand Blanc FCUCC Upward Basketball and Cheer”


Contact Us

Email questions to Dave Rembowski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or contact the Church Office at 810-695-0550.

Learn more about Upward Sports