by Dennis Dalman
The mountainous heaps of snow still linger, but St. Joseph is already gearing up for lots of fun outdoor summer activities, including leagues for softball, baseball, soccer, basketball and even toddler triathlons.
The activities are designed for pre-teens, teens and – in the case of one basketball category – people aged 16 to adult.
The deadline to sign up for summer recreation programs is April 28 or until such time as the teams are full. To register, visit the St. Joseph website at cityofstjoseph.com
Rhonda Juell, director of St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Department, commented about the activities.
“Softball, baseball, soccer and basketball programs,” she said. “are an excellent way to help your child develop hand-eye coordination and decision-making skills,” she said. “The focus will be on developing fundamentals of the game – running the bases, catching, throwing, hitting; ball handling, passing – while also instilling decision-making skills, sportsmanship and promoting teamwork.”
Juell listed the basics of the activities:
All skill levels are welcome.
Every participant will be able to play in every game.
Bats, balls, tees and helmets will be provided (children should bring their own baseball/softball gloves).
Each participant will receive a free T-shirt.
Sessions will be cancelled if the heat index is 95 degrees or higher.
The following are the programs being offered (sessions number 100-600 will all be held at Millstream Park):
Baseball-100. T-Ball (ages 5-6). Monday 6-7 p.m. June 5-July 24. Cost $25. The balls used will be tennis balls to prevent injuries.
Baseball-200. Soft Toss (ages 7-8). Monday 7-8 p.m. June 5-July 24. Cost $25. This is for kids who have already been introduced to the basic skills of softball/baseball but who wish to hone those skills, such as throwing and catching.
Baseball-300. Coach Pitch Baseball (ages 9-10). Tuesday 6-7 p.m. June 6-July 25. Cost $25. For kids who have a solid grasp of baseball. The season will begin with players hitting balls pitched by coaches and then proceed to hitting player-pitched balls.
S-400. Pony League Girls Softball (ages 9-10). Tuesday 6-7 p.m. June 6-July 25. Cost $25. Players will continue working on skills, including pitching to one another. No metal cleats allowed.
T-900. Toddler Triathlon (ages 2-5). Two sessions at Klinefelter Park Saturday 11 a.m. June 3 and Saturday 11 a.m. Aug. 12. Cost $5 for each child. The kids will ride, run and get wet as they make their way to the finish line where they will all receive a medal. A family member over the age of 12 may assist the participant. Bring your own item to ride on, wear a helmet if riding a bike, wear comfortable clothes that can get wet and athletic/water-proof shoes.
S-500 Soccer (ages 6-8). Tuesday 7:15-8:15 p.m. June 6-July 25. Cost $15. For kids wanting to learn the basic skills and rules of the game, plus coordination skills and how to play as part of a team.
S-600 Soccer (ages 9-11). Tuesday 7:15-8:15 p.m. June 6-July 25. Cost $15. To learn basic skills and the rules of the game, along with coordination, passing skills and team play.
B-700 Basketball (ages 8-15) Wednesday 10-11 a.m. June 7-July 26 at Centennial Park. Cost $5. For kids wanting to learn basic skills, the rules of the game, how to develop the correct form and team play.
B-800 Basketball (ages 16 to adult). Free. Wednesday 7-8:30 p.m. June 7-July 26 at Centennial Park. For players to have 3-on-3 games with a time clock, scoreboard and referee. No T-shirt provided.