Two South Carolina recreation agencies exemplify dedication to youth

Two South Carolina recreation agencies exemplify dedication to youth


The past year has produced many challenges across the youth sports landscape, but two recreation agencies in South Carolina continue to exemplify their commitment to providing the highest quality sports programming for youth in their communities.

The Richland County Recreation Commission and Charleston County Parks and Recreation each had several leaders and staff members participate in the Virtual Youth Sports Congress conducted by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS). The signature event of NAYS, the Congress has been held for the past 18 years at a variety of venues around the country. The 2020 event, scheduled for Baltimore in conjunction with the Athletic Business Show and Expo, was canceled due to the pandemic and a three-day virtual event was held in its place.

The Virtual Congress format enabled attendees to still take part in sessions and learn all-important information, communicate with the speakers, and engage with their peers.

"We've got a special group of people here who love giving kids opportunities to learn and thrive in sports," said Matt Christman, Recreation Superintendent at the Richland County Recreation Commission. "Any chance they have to gain more knowledge to better our programs they are all in on, so they welcomed the opportunity to take part in the Virtual Youth Sports Congress and all the fantastic sessions that were offered."

These Richland staff members earned or updated their Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA) credential, joining more than 5,500 worldwide who have that designation:

LaChanze Walker

Matt Parker

Corie Bryant

Sherri Barne

John Howell

Miles Sibert

LaDonte Lovett

“I’m incredibly proud of the work our team does every day to impact young lives through sports in the rural communities we serve,” said Love Ishie, the Community Recreation Athletics Coordinator at Charleston County Parks and Recreation. “While we weren’t able to gather in person for the Youth Sports Congress, the virtual format still delivered a high-quality and engaging experience that we all benefited from!”

Six long time CYSA from Charleston updated their CYSA credential by participating. Those  included:

Tonya Brown

David Campbell

Sonya Gardner

Love Ishie

Brian Todd

Joel Warren

The three-day Congress line-up was packed with informative sessions on important youth sports issues that addressed gender equity, inclusion, bullying, physical literacy, facility allocation, recognizing staff and volunteers and specialization and injuries.

While all the sessions were pre-recorded, the speakers were live on Zoom at the conclusion of their sessions to respond to questions from the attendees. A live chat box also ran alongside the presentations, enabling attendees to post comments and share insights with each other as subject matter was presented.         

The 2021 Youth Sports Congress is tentatively scheduled to take place in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 27-30, if federal health regulations deem it safe to host an in-person event.

For more information please email

South Carolina CYSA Virtual Congress Training

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