In terms of recreation, youth and adult sporting activities, we as a city offer the most affordable and developmentally based programs along the Front Range. Our programs are a great value, and we turn no one away for their inability to pay.
Every program offered by Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services is designed to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Colorado Springs, youth and adults. Statistics tell us that without these types of programs, youth crime will rise, along with vandalism and gang activity. Child obesity rates will go up, as well as domestic violence.
Some people say that, with the city hurting so much financially, the private sector should take over these services.
That could work in some youth sports, where competition is stressed above all else. But at Parks and Recreation, we are about skill-building, everyone playing, and everyone having fun. The private sector is in business to make a profit, and it is not necessarily focused on inclusion for low-income families who cannot afford club sports.
Sports leagues and recreation activities are what intertwine our city. They bring everyone together to create a community and a better place to live and work. That is a community value Parks & Rec wants to foster.
I would invite anyone to visit us at one of our recreation or community centers, or to play in one of our many youth and adult sports leagues. The department promotes and enhances the quality of life in our community, just one of the reasons Colorado Springs is listed in the Top 10 of the best places to live in the country by several outside publications.
There are many ways we could make our city better in the year ahead, but here's one that wouldn't cost a dime: Volunteer to coach for a youth sports team. More than ever, we need people willing to give some of their time to making our kids' lives more fulfilling. But the volunteering part could be just as rewarding for you.
Gerry Strabala, recreation supervisor, youth and adult sports, is a Springs native and a former all-area football player at Palmer High School. He left here only to play college football and to earn his degree at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.
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