Government

Randolph Recreation Reviews 2016 and Plans the Year Ahead; Multiple Sport Participation Policy Possibility

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RANDOLPH, NJ - At the Recreation Committee’s reorganizational meeting on Thursday, Chair Joseph Nazarro took some time to review the accomplishments of 2016 and the challenges ahead in 2017.

“The parks and recreation community master plan was finalized and of course we participated in that at many stages of its development,” Nazarro began.

Nazarro mentioned the Sports Education Sub-Committee formed in 2016 to serve as a resource for coaches.

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“It resulted in a quarterly newsletter called the ‘Sportletter,’” Nazarro explained. “We pick a particular theme and then run that through with articles and resources for coaches, parents, anyone else who’s interested.”

Other successes from the past year included combining the baseball committees into one committee, tours of the undeveloped 90-acre area, signage added to all fields and an improved relationship with the Board of Education for use of the facilities.

“This is just to… give our new folks an idea of the scope of activities that we get ourselves involved with,” Nazarro said.

In 2017, the committee will monitor and implement the Parks Master Plan and will work with the Town Council Liaison Joanne Veech to ensure the new development meets the recommendations of the master plan.

During Old Business, the committee had a second reading of the policy for multiple sport participation. They discussed wording throughout the document and established priority for game participation.

For sports with overlapping seasons, such as hockey and lacrosse, the current season will take priority over the new season.

For athletes who participate in multiple sports during the same season, the athlete will declare a primary and secondary sport to establish priority for missing games and practices.

“It should be noted that we are only talking about things we can control. These are Recreation sports programs,” committee member Joe Faranetta added. “The kid may also be in piano lessons. There are things we can’t control.”

The policy will encourage coaches to provide a game-eligibility policy, so parents and athletes can decide when to miss practices. For example, a student must attend four practices before playing in a game.

“We’re trying to drive down the number of games the kids play instead of increase them,” Nazarro mentioned. “As a teacher of sport, I still want to have my kids practice two or three times a week before they go to the next game... That’s not the intent of [the policy], but it may be a result.”

The final version of the policy will be approved in the February committee meeting. The policy will be introduced to sport leadership committees, and violations will be enforced through the Recreation committee.

“We’re trying to make it easier for the multiple-sport athlete to flourish,” Faranetta concluded.

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