Sportsman, volunteer coach of the year sought
Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do” by UCLA basketball coach Dr. John Wooden was said time and time again by NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton as he traveled across the United States speaking at various functions that included a stop in Yuma nearly a decade ago.
Volunteers are the lifeblood that keeps Yuma's sports scene alive and healthy. Whether it is a youth organization, adult softball league, the upcoming Senior Games or Special Olympics, committed volunteers are needed to help organize, supervise, coach teams and officiate activities.
Volunteers have always been a strong part of any community. They are positive role models within the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation programs, whether for youths or adults. The city holds volunteers to high standards of personal conduct and promotion of positive values when volunteers commit to help in any of the city sports programs.
One way that interested individuals can get involved is by volunteering with a youth sports organization, as they are always in need of volunteers. Volunteers bring knowledge, enthusiasm, fresh ideas and much-needed optimism to organizations that are constantly evolving, along with the needs and wants of our community.
Currently, the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department co-sponsors the following youth sports organizations: Yuma Boys Baseball League, Yuma Girls Fast-Pitch and T-ball League, Yuma Little League, Pop Warner Football, NFL Catch and Go Flag Football, Yuma Inline Hockey Association, Yuma Heat Swim Program, Babe Ruth Baseball, Yuma Youth Soccer Association, Yuma Futbol and Special Olympics.
Each of these has a handful of people who spend hundreds of hours laboring to service thousands of young athletes eager to have a positive experience in sports.
The experience of being a sports volunteer can be extremely gratifying. It is not just about donating your time and expertise, it is also an opportunity to learn new lessons and gain new skills. Taking on the role of a volunteer will challenge you to interpret and analyze the sport from a whole new perspective.
If you are already involved in a sport, your enthusiasm and passion is the fuel that will help inspire and encourage people around you to take up sports as well. Individuals who don't participate in a sport themselves can make a difference, too, by volunteering their time to organize and/or fund local sporting events. An ever-growing sporting culture is instrumental in keeping Yuma happy and healthy.
The city of Yuma would like to take this opportunity to tip our hats to the hundreds of volunteer board members, coaches, umpires, league and district officials, snack bar attendants, equipment managers, sponsors and parents who spend their time and talents making Yuma an incredible place to live.
Volunteers rarely are recognized for their contributions, so Parks and Recreation will be presenting two awards.
The Sportsman of the Year award is given to individuals whose volunteer contributions and advocacy efforts support and promote sport programs of Parks and Recreation.
The Volunteer Coach of the Year award is given to honor the men and women who coach our youth and adult teams throughout the year at the grassroots level. These dedicated men and women are mentors, who promote fair play, hard work, safety, basic game fundamentals, teamwork, and let us not forget, positive sportsmanship.
To nominate an individual for either award, forms are available online at yumaaz.gov/parksandrec and are being accepted until 5 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Parks and Recreation main office, One City Plaza. The awards will be presented at a special ceremony at 6 p.m. Jan. 31 in the city of Yuma Council Chambers.