Westport Parks and Rec reaping benefits of sub-organization system

Westport Parks and Rec reaping benefits of sub-organization system


The staff at the Westport (Conn.) Parks and Recreation Department is passionate and tireless in its efforts to provide top-quality sports programs for children throughout the community.

And as a longtime member organization of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) it has used its training programs and resources to help make their program offerings as strong as ever, as well as a rewarding experience for all participants.

Its efforts in the past year have also been bolstered by adopting the sub-organization system that is available to any NAYS Member Organization, which makes the management of volunteer coaches easier than ever with various groups operating programs for children on municipal facilities.

“As the member organization lead representative overseeing all I can check a coach within each sub-organization and make sure they are in compliance,” says Cyndi Palaia, the program manager for the Westport Parks and Recreation Department. “Each sub-organization also has access to their own individual online management account so I no longer have to check 50 to 100 coaches at a time and email lists back and forth. They can do the checks and I follow up if there are any issues. It has helped reduce my workload.”

There has also been plenty of rave reviews flowing in regarding the sub-organization system from outside groups.

“The feedback that I have gotten from our youth sport groups is positive,” Palaia says. “They like having the ability to log in to their member organization management account and see their coaches. Most organizations have a registrar and one person who oversees and follows up with their coaches to make sure they are in compliance. They know who their coaches are, can look them up in the account area, follow up if they need to and not have to have the go between them and the rec department. It really is so much easier and a quicker process!” 

The sub-organization system streamlines the tracking of membership information for NAYS Coaches, including membership expiration date and sport(s) identified on their membership. Member Organizations can also view which additional trainings a NAYS Coach has completed among the variety of FREE ones offered, like the bullying prevention and concussion awareness programs.

If a Member Organization ever chooses to receive parent feedback through the NAYS Coach Rating System on NAYS coaches, the results are conveniently stored within the online management account to be reviewed. Even the results of background checks can be manually entered and stored within a NAYS Coaches’ member profile for a quick review.

Some of the requirements for groups to use Westport’s facilities are that all coaches must complete the NAYS online training program, hosted by ESPN’s Karl Ravech; coaches must complete the online concussion course offered by the CDC or NAYS; and they must have Return to Play protocol and procedures in place and communicated with parents and participants yearly, among others.

“By each group becoming a sub-organization they have more control over their coaches and it has reduced the role of the ‘middle-man,’” Palaia says. “Since the sub-organizations can log into their account and check coach information, it allows them to follow up with coaches directly if not all of their paperwork is in order.”  

For more information about this option that is available to all NAYS Member Organizations email nays@nays.org; or call 800-729-2057.

Westport Parks and Recreation Coaching Children

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