Prices are down and participation is up for rec district |

Prices are down and participation is up for rec district

Katie Drucker
Eagle Valley Enterprise Correspondent
Vail CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” In the past year WECMRD youth sports prices have been reduced 25 to 44 percent.

Local parents have Alpine Bank, Vail Valley Medical Center, Howard Head Sports Medicine, Vail-Summit Orthopedics, and Berry Creek Metropolitan Recreation District to thank.

In 2007 WECMRD decided to aggressively search for primary sponsors ” sponsors to support multiple leagues, instead of sponsorships that support a single team. These primary sponsors give WECMRD more money than single team sponsors do and enable WECMRD to reduce youth sports prices according to Mike Staten, WECMRD recreation director.

“Youth sports are now much more affordable for local families,” he says.

It now costs $25 for non-equipment youth sports and $75 for equipment sports.

Even though prices are down, WECMRD is not cutting any corners. WECMRD has been replacing old equipment and improving safety. Over the past two years WECMRD purchased 150 new baseball helmets with face guards for safety, 150 Nike football pants, 20 new sets of lacrosse equipment and each soccer participant got a jersey, a soccer ball and shin-guards.

“If you are a kid, you are going to be able to play and be able to have the equipment that the kid beside you has,” Staten says.

With prices down, participation is up.

“Since our youth sports price rollback began, our programs have been drastically increasing in numbers. We had 100 more kids in 2008 in basketball than in 2007. Youth baseball and softball numbers are increasing. Our soccer program exploded with 700 kids this spring. The model seems to be making a positive impact for local kids,” Staten notes.

Staten also explains that the low prices and great experience is made possible by the volunteer coaches. The volunteers range from parents and grandparents to neighbors.

“We would cease to function without their help,” Staten says.

Staten asks that parents show their appreciation by supporting the primary sponsors that support the local kids. Secondary sponsorships are also available.

For more information, contact Mike Staten at 970-777-8863.

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