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By the time the first game tips off in Danville Parks and Recreation’s Optimist Basketball League, around 200 parents will have already learned one of the most valuable lessons the league has to offer – sportsmanship.
New to the program this year is the addition of the National Alliance for Youth Sports’ “It PAYS to Be Positive” parent workshop, a 30-minute session required by the Parks Department prior to participation in the basketball league.
“This class will help make everyone accountable,” said Jeff Goard, assistant director of sports and athletics. “And it will help parents understand the department’s philosophies.”
While a large portion of the class focus on sportsmanship, it is not designed as an anger management program. Instead, “PAYS” is an orientation to the finer points of sports including skill development, nutrition, safety, parent behavior and more. The goal is to equip all of the participating parents with the skills needed to not only raise outstanding athletes but outstanding citizens as well.
The majority of parents enjoyed the course and look forward to seeing how it will help the league.
“I think this class will add some accountability to the parents to perform good sportsmanship while watching their child play basketball,” said Vince Kania, whose child has played in the league for the past three years. “I do think this has been helpful. If the parents really look at themselves and realize the basketball league is for their child to have fun, not just winning and losing.”
Seane Poole, who is a new parent in the league, agreed.
“I feel like this will add some value to the program where parents know how to act from the start of the program,” he said.
Goard said the department has plans to institute the course for the football program and to make it available during the spring as well.
For more information about the “PAYS” program or other athletic programs contact Sports and Athletics office at 799-5214.