Rec Authority sees huge turnout for Spring Sports opening day

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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Hundreds of people packed the Bill Reynolds sports complex on Saturday morning, with families gathering for the opening day ceremony for this year’s spring rec sports. While the tee ball, softball and baseball teams were the center of attention as they paraded around the field, Saturday was also the opening day for rec soccer. Aside from the parade of players, Bainbridge Decatur County Recreation Authority executive director Joel Holmes also spoke at the event, with a raffle held for audience members, and county commissioner Pete Stephens throwing the day’s opening pitch.

BDCRA marketing and special events coordinator Ana Baty spoke with the Post-Searchlight afterwards about the event. “It went very well, everything ran smoothly,” she said. As for community feedback, she stated it was positive, saying, “As far as I see on Facebook, all positive, everyone was very excited.”

Despite the main parade of players on the baseball field, the entire sports complex was decorated. “We just wanted everybody to feel included,” Baty said.

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This year has seen a sizable increase in the amount of rec teams as well. According to Baty, last year the Rec Authority had to combine age groups in softball to have full teams. “Now we have at least two teams per age group,” she said. Now, this year there are 18 tee ball teams, and a combined 17 teams for baseball and softball, as well as 28 total soccer teams, from ages 4 to 13. Baty attributed part of the growth to the Rec Authority increasing their marketing, as well as improvements in the coaching and programs. “We’ve got like a high school level staff here, really,” she said. She also attributed part of it to life returning to normal, post-pandemic. “Things are starting to level back off, I think maybe people are just excited to get back out there and start doing things.”

“It was really great to see the community come together in celebration of spring sports,” Baty concluded. “I think everybody had a really good time.”

The Rec Authority is also preparing to host several summer camps, after the spring season concludes. Registration for fall sports is expected to open up in July.