City of Clearwater (Fla.) model of youth sports programming excellence


When it comes to top quality youth sports programming, the City of Clearwater (Fla.) Parks and Recreation is a model of excellence. In recognition of the superb job it does, it was one of five organizations to earn the coveted Excellence in Youth Sports Award in 2008.
Presented by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) and Athletic Business magazine, the annual award recognizes special organizations that operate diverse youth sports programs that focus on providing positive and safe experiences for all participants.     
The City of Clearwater provides sports programming for more than 3,000 youth athletes. The community co-sponsors 15 different youth sports organizations, which offer eight different sports activities for the local children to choose from.
“The experiences our youth have in participating in sports can be positive or negative and we want to focus on positive experiences,” said Kevin Dunbar, parks and recreation director for the City of Clearwater Parks and Recreation. “We want to cultivate the development of self worth, sense of team and good citizenship through these positive experiences.”
The City of Clearwater utilizes many programs offered by NAYS to help it fulfill its goals.
Its coaches are trained and certified through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA). Adults involved in Clearwater’s programs are also trained in lightning safety, concussion awareness, American Red Cross Sports Safety, as well as how to administer CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) treatment.
They also back up their commitment to positive sportsmanship through their Excellence in Youth Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes youth athletes who exhibit good sportsmanship. 
“The City of Clearwater Parks and Recreation deserves this prestigious honor for its steadfast commitment to providing top quality youth sports,” said Fred Engh, founder and CEO of NAYS. “We are truly honored to have them as a NAYS chapter, and commend them for the service they provide to their community.”

This year's other Excellence Award recipients are USAG Fort Belvoir (Va.), Tinker Air Force Base Youth Center (Okla.), the City of Evans Parks and Recreation (Colo.) and Hickam Air Force Base Youth Sports (Hawaii).

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