Tennis association and after-school program pitch ideas

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Recreation District heard two presentations without taking action Thursday at their regular meeting.

One proposal came from the Sheridan County Tennis Association.

The SCTA, which has long struggled in finding a place for their proposed indoor tennis facility, presented to the board their early-stages idea for covering two of the outdoor tennis courts at Thorne-Rider Park.

The tennis group is made up of 200 members along with about 50 pickleball players.

“Something has just gone wrong everywhere we go,” SCTA President Lorna Brooks said of their struggles in finding a location for the facility. “We just think Thorne-Rider fits, and we want to come to you and ask, ‘Is this something we should even go forward with?’”

They added that their mission with the indoor facility is to increase opportunities for activity in Sheridan in the winter months.

They have $200,000 in their bank account and would raise funds for the remaining money needed for the project, whatever that turned out to be.

This week, 500 feet of cracks are being repaired on the SRD courts in Thorne-Rider Park, which are leased from the city of Sheridan by the Sheridan Athletic Association. In the end, the tennis group asked that SRD director Richard Wright approach the SAA about the partnering, and that the board further discuss if this could become a reality.

To begin the meeting, the SRD board heard a presentation from Amanda Lawson, Sheridan County School District 2 CARE program coordinator, who made a pitch to the SRD that they join with her in the district’s after-school program.

The program, which stands for Creative, Academic, Recreation and Enrichment, is funded by a grant that makes the program possible in schools that are eligible for free and reduced lunch — its pilot school Coffeen and now Woodland Park and Sagebrush elementary schools. From science classes to basketball, the CARE program is a collaborative effort of multiple entities from Sheridan College and the YMCA to organizations like the Food Group and the Sheridan County Museum.

“I want to get as much activity into the schools in a way that works for our kids,” Lawson said Thursday at the meeting.

She added that the SRD’s programs fit well into what she does. She works classes and recreation into after-school hours that students may not be presented with during a regular school day.

The board agreed to have SRD staff put together a schedule of what amount of responsibility they could handle as far as placing programs such as their Rimbusters basketball into CARE time slots, before approving the partnership.

Recreation program supervisor Robbie Spencer presented a staff report, telling the board about increased participation in adult softball this summer, which was up eight teams (31 to 39) from a year ago. He’s also running a brand new recreation golf program as a partnership with Hidden Bridge Golf Course.

The SRD is participating in Adopt-A-Park along with the city of Sheridan, where volunteers can help with things like trash pick up, snow removal, painting and pulling weeds.

Wright said their volunteer, Andrew Tkach, has been working out great, and anyone interested in entering the program as a volunteer can call either the SRD or Chuck Carbert with the city parks division.

About

Brad Estes

Sheridan Press sports editor

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