March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 56

Park Bench
Volunteer Coaches Revitalize Youth
Sports in Brighton, Colorado
The City of Brighton, Colorado, is experiencing huge growth in its youth sports programing due to an increase in volunteer
coaches. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we had a significant reduction in the number of parents who volunteered
to coach, which limited enrollment numbers and created full rosters and long waiting lists. However, enrollment in the spring Peewee
Soccer program increased by 120 percent in 2023 through community outreach efforts to recruit volunteer coaches.
We spread information about our coaching programs to community members outside of the participants' parents to build a strong
group of volunteers. Since our city has a population of just more than 40,000 residents and provides recreational sports opportunities
for more than 2,200 youth participants each year, we rely on volunteer support to help us offer almost every sport you can think of.
We emphasize fun, teamwork, exercise and the opportunity for kids to learn a new sport. Our new volunteers are very committed
to our mission and are focused on giving back to the community. While many of our newer coaches don't have direct ties to participants,
they have become some of the most dedicated volunteers and are promising to return in future seasons.
We provide coaches' books packed with a variety of different drills and basic team management tips that help make coaching less
daunting for our volunteers. Additionally, we are always available to answer questions and support our coaches in any sport-related
capacity. Although we provide all these resources, not all of our coaches rely on them. The resources are there as a backup to ease
any hesitations someone might have about volunteering to coach. The key for us has been to provide these resources and always
stress that our leagues are completely recreational.
Peewee Soccer isn't the only program we have found success with thanks to our new coaches. Brighton
Youth Sports has seen enrollment numbers increase in all of our sports offerings and across all age
groups. With more coaches, we have been able to create better coach-to-player ratios and more
opportunities for children to try new sports. Our goal for 2024 is to ramp up this coaching
program further by providing week-to-week practice plans and skill-specific benchmarks as
additional coaching guidance.
- Julie Hayden, Recreation Coordinator - Sports, Brighton (Colorado) Recreation Center, City of
Brighton Parks and Recreation
The City of Brighton, Colorado,
energized its youth sports program by
recruiting a strong base of volunteer
coaches from the community.
56 Parks & Recreation | MARCH 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMIE CASAS

March 2024 - Parks and Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2024 - Parks and Recreation

March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Intro
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover1
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover2
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 1
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March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover3
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover4
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
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