Gold medals for all
Clarke’s Beach hands out medals for participation
Sports banquets usually focus on the players who perform the best during the season. The Clarke’s Beach recreation commission is taking that notion, and turning it on it’s ear.
Since the re-start of the community softball program, the sports banquet, which was held Saturday, Sept. 24, has been about the spirit of fair play and fun.
“Everyone gets a gold medal, no one is singled out,” said commission chairperson Alice Russell.
Russell said the commission was pleased with the number of children and parents who attended the banquet.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said.
Softball is on a steady climb in Clarke’s Beach. It might have something to do with the picturesque scenery surrounding the ball field — home plate looks out into the Atlantic Ocean — but it probably has to do with the enthusiasm enveloping the program.
The number of players in the program is at an all-time high.
“ We had 70 kids playing softball this summer,” said Russell.
This number bodes well for the program as it moves forward.
Russell said she hopes to see more kids picking up a ball and a glove when next summer rolls around.
But softball has not always experienced such success in the small community.
Up until seven years ago, Russell explained softball was an activity that had become extinct.
Russell said her children had grown up playing slo-pitch, so she was surprised to see it vanish.
“There had always been softball in our area, and then it just cut off,” she said. “There was no recreation.”
That was until the town started the recreation committee seven years ago. This re-birth was followed by the introduction of a new softball program.
“The first year we started we had 25 children playing softball,” said Russell. “That was in 2005.”
The program attracted 45 children last year, offering softball for children ages 4-7, 8-11 and “12-whatever.”
Russell said the younger ages are the groups showing the most promise with a “ largest number of kids added.”
This year, a rainy day program was added for times when the elements did not want to co-operate.
The program ran five days-a-week, whereas softball only ran for three days.
This was to give the kids something to do on those days when playing outside was not an option, said Russell.
“ The kids could come and do whatever they wanted.”
Russell said she is not alone when it comes to maintaining softball in Clarke’s Beach.
She cited members of the recreation commission, like Tanya Newman, as playing a huge part in the program.
Russell praised Newman for her dedication to the program. And Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore has been a “tremendous help,” according to Russell.