With fall sports in full swing, the Blaine Boys and Girls Club is finding itself in need of coaches for its youth sports teams. The Northern Light reporter Jeremy Schwartz spoke with Andrea Green, the director of the Blaine Boys and Girls Club, about the club’s youth sports teams and their need for volunteer coaches.
TNL: What sports programs are going on now?
Green: We are in the middle of our football season, and registration for basketball starts on September 27.
TNL: How many volunteer coaches do you have?
Green: With assistants, we have between 25 and 30 coaches. All of our coaches are volunteers and work very hard to make
our program the best it can be.
TNL: Could you use more coaches? That is, are some kids unable to play because there aren’t enough volunteer coaches?
Green: With more volunteer football coaches and the funding for more football equipment, I believe we could run two senior tackle teams (5th and 6th grade) and two junior tackle teams (3rd and 4th grades). Basketball season will be coming up soon, and we will be recruiting coaches for these teams.
TNL: Has the number of volunteers increased or decreased since last year?
Green: The number of volunteers has stayed about the same. The people who love coaching come back every year to support our youth. We appreciate their time and dedication to our club.
TNL: How much does it cost to put on a sports program? Is lack of funding an issue?
Green: Athletics are costly and time consuming programs to run successfully. We have athletic directors and program staff, ensuring that each child has current waivers to participate. In addition, equipment and gear that fits each youth properly to ensure safety can be costly. This includes having enough equipment, replacing helmets, jerseys, pants and practice attire. Another cost associated with athletics is paying for field and gym time for practices and games. The Boys and Girls Club does not want athletic programs to be a hardship on parents, as sports are such a positive healthy activity for youth to participate in. However, the Boys and Girls Club fees reflect the cost that the club incurs in running these programs.
TNL: Why are these sports programs important?
Green: These programs promote good sportsmanship, good personal fitness and keep kids busy and involved in a fun and active activity in a safe environment.
TNL: How can someone become a coach?
Green: Becoming a coach is easy and simple. Stop by the Blaine Boys and Girls Club and fill out a volunteer form, pass a background check, orient with athletic staff on safety precautions and practices, adhere to Boys and Girls Club volunteer guidelines and be positive role models for our members.
To find out more about the sports programs at the Blaine Boys and Girls Club or to become a volunteer, call 360/332-3008. The club is located at 635 8th Street, across H Street from the Blaine School District Family Services Center.