With Major League Baseball’s pennant races coming down to the wire, college football picking up steam, the NFL in full force and the Rebels and Mustangs packing stadiums, it’s easy to overlook that the Effingham County Recreation and Parks fall sports season is under way.
But make no mistake about it. The youth, ranging from ages 3 to 15, to the volunteer coaches to the ECRP staff are making this year as fun and productive as any other.
“Rec sports builds many things,” ECRP director Clarence Morgan said. “It builds camaraderie among the kids and gives the kids a chance to mingle with other people.”
Football, cheerleading, fall baseball, softball and soccer are ongoing. The football and cheerleading teams are comprised of kids from all over the county. Morgan said several kids meet people they otherwise would not.
“Many a relationship is built with people they never see otherwise,” he said. “Parents become involved and develop relationships and from a skill standpoint, they develop the motor skills by playing sports.”
While several children learn the Xs and Os of football, the nuances of soccer and the cadences in cheerleading, Morgan said recreation sports are more than just games.
“They build social skills,” he said. “They learn how to interact with people and get along with people.”
While Morgan and the ECRP prides itself on serving Effingham’s youth, he is quick to point out that adults, too, can have plenty of fun.
Approximately 500 adults volunteer to help coach and work with youth sports and more than 400 adults decide to play the games themselves.
ECRP offers a diverse adult sports program, featuring eight flag football teams, 11 co-ed softball teams, five men’s softball and 8-10 women’s volleyball teams.
Morgan said this fall is the biggest adult sports season the ECRP has had.