The Page Recreation Department recently received approval from the Page City Council allowing the kids of youth league coaches to play youth league sports for free.
But there is a small catch: the free enrollment voucher can’t be used until after a coach fulfills his coaching agreement. For instance, someone coaching youth basketball now, can get free enrollment for his or her child for the next youth league sport, such as soccer or baseball.
Full time coaches in the youth sport league are eligible to receive a free registration for their kids enrolled in the city sports league, and assistant coaches will receive 50 percent off their kids sports enrollment.
According to city records the city youth league utilizes about 70 head coaches and about 45 assistant coaches each year.
Jackie La New, Recreation Manager for Page Recreation Dept., believes the voucher program will help the city’s youth sports league remain successful now and in the future. Without coaches there wouldn’t be a league, she said.
“We have two reasons for wanting to do this,” said La New. “We have a lot of parents who are volunteering their time to coach a team their kid is on. They might spend 50 hours volunteering. The city is hoping those who volunteer their time will feel thanked and know their value to the sport.
“Secondly, it also benefits [the city] as well. It’s difficult finding, recruiting and keeping coaches. With around 40-50 hours given over a five week period, it is a big decision for anyone interested in coaching to consider the commitment.
“We have a hard time recruiting coaches. This might be the extra incentive they need to decide to coach, and that helps us find and retain qualified, dedicated coaches.”
Each team has one coach and one assistant coach. This allows two vouchers per team.
Potential coaches and assistant coaches who want to be involved in Page Recreation sports can be anyone who is sixteen years or older, willing, committed and, most importantly, meets expectations of the city.
“As long as the coaches are two steps ahead of the kids, our only other prerogative is for the kids to be safe and have fun,” said La New.
The City of Page recreation department has a strict list of expectations for their coaches and assistant coaches.
Coaches and assistant coaches alike are required to complete annual concussion training, post and update the practice and game schedule online, submit player ratings to help balance the team’s skill set amongst other time sensitive and time-consuming tasks.
“The city league has expectations,” La-New said, “We have every coach that is hired sign an expectations list.”
The Page Recreation Department has many plans to develop and improve the opportunities for those involved in city sports. The vouchers are just the first step in that direction.
“We are trying to improve the city’s recreation area and the accessibility to different city leagues, sports and hobbies,” La-New said.
Any individual interested in becoming a coach or assistant coach for the city of Page can sign up using the recreation website at https://cityofpage.org/departments/recreation-dept.