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It may be cold outside, but your kids can still be active and have fun by joining in a foul-shooting contest. The annual Free Throw Championship will take place in the Saint Mary School gym from 1:30 p.m. until about 3:30 p.m., Jan. 17.

It is held by the Knights of Columbus, and all boys and girls in Milford from ages 9 to 14 are welcome to come.

Participants are asked to arrive at the school lobby at 1 p.m. on the day of the event to register. There is not a registration fee, and if they wish to register in advance, they can contact the chairman of the event, Steve Fenton. Fenton has been part of this organization for about five years, and in 2013 he became a Fourth Degree Knight, which is the highest degree.

The Grand Knight, Adam Baranowsky will be at this basketball competition as well to help with the rebounds, scores, and to sign participation certificates that will be given to the children. A parent or guardian must be present to sign a form upon arrival. All the players’ shots will be calculated, and the kids will be separated into groups based on their ages.

The winners from each age group will earn a trophy or plaque. Free drinks and small snacks will also be given.

“It’s beneficial to the Knights of Columbus because they’re working with our youth in the parochial school. It’s a good way for both groups to get to know each other,” said Fourth Degree Knight, Kevin Boyd.

Those who win this competition can advance to higher levels that start at the districts then go on to regional, state and finally the national championship.

The forms the players receive on Jan. 17 will proceed with them if they continue onto these higher levels. Those who qualify for the national championship do not even have to leave Connecticut.

“By hosting and supporting this basketball free throw competition we are letting kids and their parents be a part of a fun, free event where everyone can enjoy themselves for a little while,” said Baranowsky. “The kids can participate in a low-pressure, fun competition against their friends and other children in the community.”

This basketball event has been sponsored by the Knights of Columbus since 1972, but this is their council’s third year of doing s

. According to Fenton, the Santa Maria Council is part of The Knights of Columbus and began about seven years ago at Saint Mary’s Church. The Knights do other forms of volunteering like helping out at the Saint Mary’s Parish picnic and the school carnival. The organization gives many people the opportunities to help others.

“Being a part of the Knights of Columbus is great. For me, being able to be a part of events or fundraisers where your actions or the proceeds from it directly help people who may need it is just awesome,” said Baranowsky.

Fenton said: “I enjoy being involved in a great organization like the Knights of Columbus. Anytime you do volunteer work it makes you feel good.”