Amanda King @kingamandap
The Columbia County Parks, Recreation and Events Department has been awarded the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation by the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
The designation means Columbia County has taken steps to ensure a safe, quality playing environment for children and has proven it meets key requirements in five categories – written policies and procedures, volunteer screening, coach training, parent education and accountability.
More than 6,000 children and teens ages 4 to 18 participate in athletic programs offered through the department each year, including baseball, softball, tackle football, flag football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis.
Athletics supervisor Jason English said the department underwent an all-encompassing review process and passed a detailed inspection of its inner workings.
“(This) is a testament to the strength of our department from top to bottom,” he said in a statement. “I am extremely proud, but not surprised, that our team has been granted this certification as I see the care, passion and effort that they put into everything we offer.”
The National Alliance for Youth Sports is a nonprofit organization based in West Palm Beach, Fla. The designation was developed around the National Standards for Youth Sports, a guiding resource published in 1987. Any organization can apply to be evaluated for the designation, and no cost is involved.
Columbia County’s designation is valid until Dec. 31, 2021.