At the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation – East Agency it focuses on enhancing the physical, emotional, social and educational well-being of all its youth sports participants.
So regardless of what sport children are involved in – and there are plenty to choose from – they’re assured of having a positive and well-rounded experience.
It’s one of the many reasons that the department is a recipient of the prestigious Excellence in Youth Sports Award this year. The Excellence Awards, created by Athletic Business magazine and the National Alliance for Youth Sports, recognize programs doing superior jobs of conducting diverse activities that focus on providing safe and positive experiences for all participants.
“The East Agency has a commitment with the community to ensure that the facilities and programs we provide enrich people’s lives,” says Anthony Montanez – Regional Recreational Director. “The program structure differs from facility to facility, but the vision and goals of each facility are the same.”
Along with providing opportunities to play traditional team sports like baseball, softball, basketball, soccer and volleyball children can also pick from an interesting menu of sports that often aren’t available in many communities with water polo, synchronized swimming, diving, tennis and martial arts.
“We are literally changing and shaping young lives through sports,” says Montanez. “We offer many sports in various disciplines and we can assure that children’s futures will be brighter because they have been exposed to sports mainly through us.”
The East Agency staff goes to great lengths to ensure that children are exposed to new opportunities that they will remember for a lifetime.
A perfect example is its girls lacrosse program that it recently began. Kids who showed an interest in trying the sport got to participate in special lacrosse clinics conducted by experienced players, and they attended several games at the University of Southern California to get a first-hand glimpse of how the sport is played.
Gradually the players gained skills and confidence and were soon playing against teams from other parks.
It’s just one of many success stories from a dedicated department that operates its programs under the National Alliance for Youth Sports’ philosophy of “Better Sports for Kids / Better Kids for Life!”
“By participating in youth sports, kids will have the opportunity to develop their physical, emotional, social and educational well-being,” says Montanez. “And adult volunteers relish the opportunity to spend quality time with their kids. Many coaches have built stronger family ties because of coaching.”
The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation – East Agency received the Excellence in Youth Sports Award on Nov. 18 in Orlando, Fla., during the annual Youth Sports Congress that is held in conjunction with the Athletic Business Show.