Suffolk Parks and Recreation Athletic Programs are known for providing opportunities for youth to learn about teamwork, improve their athletic skills, and achieve overall fitness at the same time. The National Association of Youth Sports has recognized Suffolk Parks and Recreation Lil Sports Program with an Excellence in Sports Award for being one of the top 5 best youth sports programs in the country for ages 4 to 5. The Lil Sports Program covers the Lil Dribblers, Lil Kickers, and Lil Pom-Poms activities and was chosen out of a group of over 100 submissions.
Robert Ramos, Recreation Specialist II, Athletics Division, notes that “This is an award not just for one person but for all the hard-working athletic staff, volunteers who gave up their time on Saturday mornings, Moms, Dads, Grandparents and other family members, and the dedication of all involved in our youth sports here in Suffolk.” Ramos will be traveling to the National Conference in November to accept the award on behalf of the Department.
Each of the Lil Sports teams show sportsmanship after games with a handshake and a high-five in addition to having a cheer to thank the other team after the contest.
Suffolk Parks & Recreation
Suffolk Parks and Recreation has grown immensely in the last year to include new programs, advancement of summer programs and more youth involved in youth programs. Suffolk Parks and Recreation has created a fostering culture with volunteers who continuously come back to volunteer every year and most cases in multiple sports. The Department is unique in the approach they have for their Lil Sports program with high school basketball coaches and athletic staff helping develop the youth and coach’s approach to the game of basketball, soccer and cheerleading.
Through hard work by volunteers and athletic staff, the program went from 18 youth in 2013 to 48 youth in 2014 for Lil Dribblers, 6 youth to 18 youth in the Lil Pom-Poms squad and the first ever Lil Kickers program which started youth learning the game of soccer this past winter for 19 youth soccer players.
National Association of Youth Sports
The National Association of Youth Sports evaluates programs through various criteria including what the organization does to educate their administrators, volunteer coaches, game officials and parents, in addition to how well they demonstrate that they embrace a child-centered recreational sports philosophy that is aimed at providing a positive and safe experience for all youth.