City parks and rec offers plethora of programs

With T-ball, coach-pitch, and Little League under way, and tennis and soccer waiting in the wings, the city's Parks and Recreation Department summer programs have already begun to pick up steam.

Dave Pike, director of the department, said winds have delayed the first games of T-ball and coach-pitch, which should start today, but practices have been going on for weeks.

The three programs involve more than 250 children and include teams for Craig, Hayden and Meeker.

"The numbers are really about the same as last year," Pike said.

The department will offer tennis lessons and a tennis camp this summer. The deadline for registration for these activities is Friday.

Pike said the tennis lessons and for beginners and the start June 3. The camp, which will be on July 29, is for more advanced players who have taken the beginners course and will include a tournament.

The girls slow-pitch and fast-pitch softball league also has started, drawing almost 100 participants to the field.

The league plays on Mondays and Wednesdays at

Loudy-Simpson Park.

The registration deadline for youth soccer is June 7 and play will begin on July 9 for ages 5 through 15. The parks and recreation department had about 240 participants in the soccer league last year and is expecting about the same amount of players this year.

Swimming lessons again will be offered this year throughout the summer and registration is ongoing. Pike said the pool is scheduled to open on June 1. Registration for swimnastics also has started.

As soccer comes to a close, registration for the Doak Walker Tackle Football League will start, with games kicking off after the school year begins. The football league is for third through sixth graders.

The parks and rec department also has scheduled six horseback trips to the Black Mountain areas.

Pike said that while his department affords many programs, these activities could not occur without the "huge volunteer base" in the community.

"We have a very good volunteer pool," Pike said.

For those interested in volunteering for parks and recreation programs they can either sign up with their children as they register for their activities or they can

call 826-2029.

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