Youth Sports Subcommittee Forwards Idea of City Athletic Director

The city council established a new special committee on youth sports earlier this year to help address issues with youth sports leagues in the city and to enhance athletic opportunities for Chelsea youth.

The special committee held its first meeting last month, and its members are already proposing changes to how youth sports are coordinated within the city.

“I thought it was a very productive meeting,” said District 1 Councilor Todd Taylor, who chairs the special committee. “We had members from the community, members from the city, and some of the people who ran the leagues.”

During the meeting, Taylor said there was pretty much a consensus that the city needs to hire someone to act as an athletic director for the city to help facilitate the youth sports process.

“There was some discussion about whether Chelsea youth sports should be an entity on its own, and I think that has some merit,” said Taylor. “There is a lot of coordination that goes along with that and we don’t want to saddle one department with too much stuff.”

The athletic director would help coordinate when fields were used and that they were ready to go for the various leagues in the city.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, Councilor and youth sports committee member Melinda Vega introduced a motion asking the city manager to explore potential funding and feasibility for a citywide athletic director position.

According to the motion, the new position would support the city with planning and organizing recreational sports programs and leagues, managing municipal sports facilities, hiring and training coaches and referees, and serving as a liaison between the city and local sports organizations, schools, and leagues.

“This was a very good suggestion that came up in our subcommittee meeting, and I think it is a great idea and would love to explore it as an opportunity,” said Vega.

Taylor noted that the city’s culture and recreational affairs director was invited to the last youth sports subcommittee meeting but had a scheduling conflict. He said the recreation director would be invited to the next meeting to discuss how an athletic director could potentially affect the culture and recreation department.

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