Posts tagged “youth sports

USTA grant will help city tennis programs recover

By Bobbie Cantu, Athletic Supervisor

The College Station Parks and Recreation Department recently received a $2,500 Facility Recovery Grant from the United States Tennis Association to help defray the costs associated with the eventual reopening of our tennis facilities.

We’ve paused our youth and adult programs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’ll use the USTA grant to cover teaching equipment, proper cleaning supplies, and other expenses. We hope to see you at our future tennis classes when regular programming returns.

Until then, we encourage you to play tennis at the 14 lighted recreational tennis courts located in these community and neighborhood parks:

Have fun, but remember to be careful and take appropriate precautions, too!


About the Blogger

Athletics Supervisor Bobbie Cantu is in her third year with the Parks and Recreation Department. A native of Weslaco, she earned bachelor’s (2017) and master’s (2019) degrees in Sport Management from Texas A&M.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Rescheduled summer sports events can help us recover

By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager

What does a sports event or tournament look like in the era of COVID-19? As participants, coaches, and spectators, we’ll soon find out.

Through his executive orders, Gov. Greg Abbott has paved the way for adult and youth sports competitions to begin. The City of College Station will host its first tournament June 19-21 with more than 100 girls’ softball teams from around the state.

The challenges of recent months have led us to this point. Typically, our tournament season ramps up in April and runs through the end of July. Since the pandemic began, our goal has been to bring tourism back to College Station while maintaining the safety of our citizens, guests, and staff.

Our department has had exhaustive meetings with local health officials and tournament organizers to ensure safety guidelines and protocols laid out by the governor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are met or exceeded. The city is responsible for cleaning and maintaining our facilities, while tournament organizers will provide city-approved safety guidelines and protocols for participants and spectators.

In March, we halted eight tournaments slated to bring about 400 teams to town. Our team worked diligently to reschedule several of the events, allowing us to keep about 300 teams. Along with three new tournaments — attracting about 150 teams — we maintained millions of dollars of economic impact in our community.

Here’s a look at our summer schedule:

  • June 19-21 — Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
  • June 27-28 — Tournament of Champions 7v7 Football
  • June 27-28 — USSSA Budweiser Invitational
  • June 30-July 3 — Battle for Texas 7v7 Football
  • July 7-12 — SSUSA Senior Softball
  • July 11-12 —The Summer Games 2020
  • July 17-19 — Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
  • Aug. 1-2 — The Summer Games 2020
  • Aug. 29-30 — Aggieland Friendship Cup

We’ll continue to adapt to the evolving situation by adjusting our operations. Our overriding mission is to safely bring customers to town while helping our residents and businesses recover.


About the Blogger

Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 13 years and is in his third year as the athletics and tourism manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from Texas A&M in 2008.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Youth hoops leagues focus on fun and fundamentals

By Bobbie Cantu, Athletics Supervisor           

If you’re looking for a way to keep your kids active during the colder months, winter youth basketball leagues are a great option. The City of College Station Parks and Recreation Department is committed to providing every kid the opportunity to play basketball regardless of their skill level.

Youth basketball provides players with a fun and exciting way to learn basic skills, teamwork, strategy, and sportsmanship. The goal is to foster positive, child-oriented attitudes by keeping winning in perspective, having fun, and improving physical fitness. Coaches focus on creating an exciting but relaxed atmosphere while focusing on fundamentals.

We offer four age divisions, which are determined by the player’s age as of March 1: 6-7 Coed (6-7 years), 10U Boys/Girls (8-10 years), 12U Boys/Girls (10-12 years), 14U Coed (12-14 years).

Registration ends Dec. 14, and the league will run from Jan. 7-March 7. You can register online at, by calling 979-764-3486, or stopping by our Central Park office at 1000 Krenek Tap Road. The cost is $60 per participant, which includes a team jersey. Players are charged a $10 reorder fee for ordering the incorrect size.

Players can register for Monday/Wednesday/Saturday or Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday practices. Games are played on weeknights between 6-9 p.m. and on Saturdays between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. All practices and games are at College Station Independent School District gyms and the Lincoln Recreation Center. Gym locations vary depending on age and availability, and participants can’t request a specific location.

The format of the league is an eight-game, round-robin schedule. Each player accumulates a minimum of two quarters of playing time for each game they participate.

Volunteer to coach

Parents are their kids’ greatest fans, and we encourage them to get involved as volunteer coaches. Without dedicated volunteers, our programs can’t grow and prosper. We need coaches for every age division. No experience is required, and we provide you with the help and resources you need for a fun and successful season.

If you’re interested in applying to be a volunteer coach, go to and fill out the form. Volunteer must complete a background check.


About the Blogger

Athletics Supervisor Bobbie Cantu is in her second year with the Parks and Recreation Department. A native of Weslaco, she earned a sports management degree from Texas A&M in 2017 and is pursuing a master’s in sport and fitness administration.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Tsunamis a gateway to fun, fitness and memories


By Melissa S. Daigneault, College Station Tsunamis Coach

In 2013, my two oldest kids became eligible to join the College Station Tsunamis summer swim team. But until I attended the parent meeting, I didn’t realize I’d been waiting 30 years for this to happen.

It wasn’t as if my life has been built around competitive swimming. Except for one year in high school, I was a summer league swimmer myself for only six years. If you asked people back then, most probably didn’t even know it.

Still, from the time I was four years old until the summer I turned 11, the best thing about the end of the school year was the beginning of summer league swimming.

The first swim meet of the season was always the first Saturday after the last day of school. The night before, I’d diligently pack my duffle bag with goggles, towels, books, playing cards, and especially the 1980s version of a Game Boy that featured Snoopy and Woodstock. I’d lay out my team suit, team t-shirt and flip flops, then crawl into bed anxious and excited.


I don’t remember any of my race times or where I placed, but I do remember competing and wanting to improve. Sometimes I tasted the sweetness of victory, and sometimes I faced a disappointing outcome.

When I was old enough, I’d ride my bike to swim practice feeling very grown up. I’d laugh and giggle with my friends while the large pace clock on the deck taunted and encouraged us to work harder. Every week, the coaches would tell us the next meet was the biggest of the season, and we all had to swim our best. We always believed it, too.

When I wasn’t competing, I’d sit with my friends under a team tent, learning card games and cheering on the other swimmers. Through all the laughter, I made friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise — older and younger kids as well as those from different neighborhoods and schools. I was an introvert, and being part of the team helped me learn to develop friendships.

We had plenty of playdates, sleepovers, and parties with snow cones and popsicles. I also got to know many of my friends’ parents, who were always volunteering to work the meets and helped make those Saturdays so magical.

While I have only vague memories of the summer league races, I vividly recall the fun and my friends. We’ve all grown up and live in different places, but I still stay in touch with many of my former teammates.


From the time I was 11 until I was in my 30s, swimming wasn’t a big part of my life. But as I reflect on my summer swim team days while watching my kids participate, I realize how often I apply the lessons I learned. Summer league swimming has changed, but the things that matter — friendships, fun, family involvement, and fitness — have stayed the same.

My summer swim team experience taught me about dedication and hard work, and to enjoy swimming as a sport and a way to keep fit. I also learned how to win and lose gracefully and to appreciate the amazing energy teams can create — something better than the individual parts.

Every day, I saw parents, families and communities working together to help kids grow, relate, dream and achieve. Without consciously realizing it, I’d yearned for my children to enjoy the same experience.

That’s why I’m honored to be part of the College Station Tsunamis team as a coach this summer. With the 2016 season just around the corner, my goal is for every swimmer to have a positive and memorable experience.


Registration is underway and runs through July 8. The cost is $125 per person. Swimmers between the ages of 5-18 who can swim one lap (25 meters) unassisted are invited to participate.

To register, go to or drop by the Parks and Recreation Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Rd. For more information, visit or call 979.764.3486.


058a1bbAbout the Author

Melissa Daigneault is in her first year to volunteer as Tsunami swim team coach. She is vice president of business and legal affairs at Lockard & White in College Station and was previously a lecturer and undergraduate program coordinator at Texas A&M. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M in 1999 and graduated from the Wake Forest School of Law in 2003.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Fast-paced Ultimate Frisbee comes to College Station


By Ward Davis, Athletic Activities Assistant

The Parks and Recreation Department prides itself on providing quality athletic programs, including the addition of exciting new sports to our lineup of adult and youth leagues.

One of those recent additions is Ultimate Frisbee, a non-contact team sport that has quickly gained popularity around the world.

By teaming up with BCS Ultimate, we hope to encourage local interest and participation. Registration is underway for our Coed Ultimate Frisbee League for ages 16 and up, and play begins Feb. 24.

“Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport focused on camaraderie and good sportsmanship as well as athleticism,” BCS Ultimate League Manager Stephanie Browning said. “Coed teams are led by members of Bryan-College Station Ultimate. Players from novice to advanced levels participate together on balanced teams in a multi-week league. Fundamentals, strategy, and instruction are integrated each week.”


Start Smart Football draws up winning play for youth

Rob Hainer / 123RF Stock PhotoIn many cases, a child’s first organized sports experience is through a league that focuses on competition rather than learning the basic skills they need to succeed.

Prior to joining competitive youth programs, kids need to master the fundamental athletic skills that serve as a foundation for developing more complex skills. If forced into competitive situations too soon, children can quickly become frustrated — and so can their parents.

For a child to have the best chance at enjoying a sport and being successful, a proper, age-appropriate period of instruction is crucial. That’s why the College Station Parks and Recreation Department has joined forces with the National Alliance for Youth Sports to offer Start Smart Football.

Start Smart Football (more…)