Sign up now for youth rec sports through March 1

Russellville youth sports for children ages 612 will soon be in full swing in the community. Registration is underway through March 1 for softball, baseball and track and field.

All travel will be local. Cost of registration for each sport is $50.

For baseball, boys ages 5-12 can register. Age control date is April 30.

Softball is open to girls ages 5-12, with Jan. 1 as the age control date.

Track and field is open to both boys and girls, ages 7-14, with Dec. 31 as the age control date.

“Track and field is brand new this year,” explained Russellville Parks and Rec manager Donnie Flanagan. “We’ve had a lot of interest in it already. We’ll have three meets: One we’ll host, and the other two will probably be in the Shoals area.”

Flanagan said baseball was previously a parent-run program; this year the program is being run by the Parks and Rec department.

While evaluations will be held to assess the skills of each child, they will not determine eligibility to play. “Everybody that wants to play will be able to play and be on the team,” Flanagan said. “The only reason I would ever refuse a kid would be a discipline issue.”

Making it possible for children to play sports on a team is a passion Flanagan said is near to his heart, having played high school baseball, football and basketball himself. He has also coached baseball and basketball, as well as a little softball.

This year Flanagan will be coaching 8U baseball.

“You learn to win and lose and how to work with different people,” he explained. “Playing sports on a team teaches kids discipline, as well as how to work with others and make friends besides those they already have – people they might not have ever met otherwise.”

Flanagan said children can make lifelong friends as a result of spending that time together on a team.

“It’s a good way to get a kid off the couch and put a phone or computer or game system down and get outside and be active, get some exercise and try something new,” he added, remarking it’s “good to get them out of their comfort zones.”

For questions or to register, call 256-332-8770 or go by the Ralph C. Bishop Community Center at 201 Ash Ave., in Russellville.

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