Ahoskie unveils new plans for recreation programs
Published 3:57 pm Friday, December 24, 2021
AHOSKIE – Officials here are devising a plan to have town paid staff in charge of recreation programs.
Ahoskie has been without a recreation department since 2017. Volunteers have operated the various athletic programs since that time.
“A couple of years ago we went to an all-volunteer staff with the recreation program,” said Town Manager Kerry McDuffie at the Dec. 14 meeting of the Town Council. “We are looking to get back to having [paid] town staff to oversee this program and keep these youth sports programs active.”
As part of the plan, McDuffie said the town’s Public Works Department will take over the basketball program, headed up by Terry Taylor.
“Terry has run the basketball program in the past for us,” McDuffie said.
As for the youth baseball/softball, McDuffie said that program will be operated by the town’s Fire Department.
[Fire Chief] Mike [Bradley] will oversee that,” McDuffie stated.
Currently there are six volunteers running the basketball program. The baseball/softball program has been under the direction of Andy Woodard and a team of volunteers.
“We are now in the process of getting a committee together,” said Bradley. “We’ll have three representatives from the Fire Department and four representatives from the community.”
Bradley added there is a lot of interest from the community about the baseball/softball program, to include Woodard’s continued involvement.
“He [Woodard] wants to see the program grow,” Bradley remarked. “He’s been very supportive.
“We’re going to set up our command staff and will move forward from there with delegating who will do what,” Bradley continued. “We would like to start signing up kids with the start of the new year.”
Councilman Charles Reynolds asked if the town has provided any stipend to the volunteers who have operated these programs since the Recreation Department was closed several years ago.
“We have not done that in the past,” McDuffie replied. “Most of the folks who volunteered had children in the program.”
Mayor Weyling White inquired about the town’s effort to get a youth soccer program started.
“We have not had a soccer program since I’ve been here,” McDuffie noted. “We can take a look at that and see if there are any volunteers who want to start a soccer program and maybe even football.”