Ahoskie Gym reopens

Published 9:58 am Thursday, August 3, 2017

AHOSKIE – For at least the immediate time frame, athletic-minded youth and adults have the opportunity to participate in basketball here.

In the wake of the Town of Ahoskie pulling the plug on its recreation program, volunteers have stepped in to keep the doors open to the town-owned gym on West Main Street.

Ahoskie Town Manager Kerry McDuffie held a meeting last week for those interested in serving as volunteers.

“For the time being, our gym facility is open from 9 a.m. until 12 noon on weekdays,” McDuffie said. “That schedule will remain intact through Aug. 24.”

McDuffie said there is hope that the gym will be open in the afternoons for local children to have a place to go after school.

“We want to operate on an afternoon schedule once school starts back,” he said. “Those days and hours of operation will be determined at a later time, but it all hinges on if we have the number of adult volunteers needed to operate the program during mid-to-late afternoon hours.”

McDuffie said the town remains interested in meeting with those wishing to become volunteers to operate the upcoming youth/adult basketball seasons. Those individuals can contact McDuffie at the Ahoskie Town Hall (252-332-5146).

Meanwhile, the Ahoskie Wildcats Youth Football program will once again be handled by Dr. Pat Proctor of the Ahoskie Animal Hospital.

As for the 2018 Ahoskie Youth Baseball and Softball programs, Andy Woodard has once again volunteered to lead.

“We kind’a got thrown into operating our baseball/softball programs at the last possible minute this year, but we made it work,” Woodard said during a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Woodard said other adults stepped up as volunteers as well and he hopes they will return for 2018.

“We established a board of directors, about seven of us all together, and we voluntarily ran the baseball and softball programs, and reported to the District 7 Director of the Tar Heel Little League” Woodard stated. “I’m hopeful that we can stick together in 2018 and operate this much-needed activity for our youth, that is if the town wants us to.”

On July 17, McDuffie laid off the Ahoskie Recreation Department’s two full-time employees, to include Rec Director Tina Pritchard, and 10 part-time employees as he began an effort to overcome a budget crisis within town services. That move also closed the town’s Rec Center, located on Peachtree Street (the old National Guard Armory). That facility remains closed.

At that time, McDuffie mentioned a pending meeting with YMCA to see if they were interested in establishing youth/adult athletic and fitness programs in Ahoskie.

McDuffie said he is still scheduled to meet with YMCA officials later this month.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal