Recreation Dept. seeks coaches for teams

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 8:00am
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Near the end of the most recent Recreation Board meeting, member Colleen Ernst told the story of how a personal friend, who had also been her coach and mentor, had died just the day before.

Her reason for telling the story was to make a plea for island residents to volunteer as coaches for the many sports programs run by the Recreation Department throughout the year. Right now, most of the coaching is done by Dave Sniffen, the Recreation Department director, but Ernst felt there was a need for more voices and commitments. She recounted how, even though she wasn’t a great athlete, her coaches impacted her life in such a positive way.

“You don’t want volunteers,” said Ernst, “You need coaches.”

The coaching time is minimal, two 45-minute practices and a 45-minute game each week.

Both Sniffen and Ernst said that perhaps the department could be more proactive in reaching out to people, especially young people who live year-round on the island.

Member Gail Heinz suggested that the coaching needs of the department should be structured and perhaps written down. “We have to start with baby steps,” said Heinz.

“We can go to some of the young people who are in the adult leagues,” said Ernst.

Sniffen said while there may be some who are interested in coaching, those same people might not have the “proper skills to coach.”

Heinz said the group should concentrate on finding coaches for the basketball season, which starts in December. Sniffen, for his part, thought finding more coaches was a good idea. “I would be happy to be relieved of my coaching duties,” he said, while stating that he would still provide oversight and directions for the programs.

Anyone interest in coaching can call the Recreation Department at (401) 466-3223.

Overview of the summer

“It was a busy summer,” said Sniffen. He said that summer sports programs almost all operated at peak capacity. He said summer rental revenues set another record at $105,470, partly due to the fact that they had installed an ATM machine at the beach last summer. (He noted that pre-ATM machine, rentals dipped to $77,000 in 2017, but that was somewhat due to a bad weather summer.)

Sniffen noted that the new parking configuration eliminated the parking on Corn Neck Road in front of the lot.

He said the biggest issue at the Beach Pavilion was that the doors to the women’s bathroom did not close properly, and that they had to be pulled shut.

“Who did the contracting? Can we call them back?” asked Heinz.

“It’s a possibility,” said Sniffen.

Sniffen also said that overflowing trash at the dumpsters was still an issue. “We still get household trash,” said Sniffen. “I’ve caught a couple of people — islanders.”

The next Recreation Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 8:15 a.m. at Town Hall.