Category Archives: Sports Spotlight

Passion With A Purpose

Duane Smith. Photo Courtesy of NAYS

Duane Smith has always been passionate about sports. So, when he chose to switch careers—moving from education to parks and recreation—he funneled that passion in a new direction, and the roughly 2,000 children who participate in sports programs at the Mokena Community Park District in Illinois have been reaping the benefits. “When I decided to change careers, I began to see the recreational side of things and how beneficial its components were to social development; in essence, I began to … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, Issues, January 2013, Parks and Rec Business, Sports Spotlight | Leave a comment

Family Ties

Sheila Lillis says every child should have the chance to be part of a team. Photo Courtesy of NAYS

Growing up, Sheila Lillis had a front-row seat observing the power of sports and what it takes to provide quality youth programming. “In my family, growing up with sports played such a large role in how we engaged with each other, and my father was a volunteer coach and volunteer athletic director at the school we all attended,” Lillis explained. And she puts those valuable lessons learned—from the playing field and from her home—to use every day at the City … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, December 2012, Issues, Parks and Rec Business, Sports Spotlight | Leave a comment

Do More Than Show Up

Recognizing kids who excel in youth sports encourages hard work and excellence. Photo Courtesy of NAYS

Love Ishie knows all about challenges and, more importantly, overcoming them. Thanks to a basketball scholarship he earned to play at The Citadel, he left his family in Lagos, Nigeria, when he was 19 and moved more than 5,000 miles away to Charleston, S.C. Four years later, he was armed with a degree in physical education and a clear vision that he wanted to help make a difference in kids’ lives through the power of sports. But it wasn’t always … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, Issues, November 2012, Parks and Rec Business, Sports Spotlight | Leave a comment

A Passion For Excellence

Ted Lockamon’s passion for sports was ignited at an early age. “My dad played on one of the best softball teams on the east coast, and as a child, my family spent almost every weekend traveling to tournaments, so I grew up around athletics,” he recalls. And when he wasn’t watching softball games, Lockamon was orchestrating pick-up games in the neighborhood. “It seemed I was always the one trying to organize things, keep stats, and come up with new twists … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, Issues, October 2012, Parks and Rec Business, Sports Spotlight | Leave a comment

A Dynamic Duo

Kathy and Aileen. Photo Courtesy of NAYS

When Kathy Eber and her family moved to Florida a quarter century ago, one of the first calls she made was to Little League Baseball. She wanted to know if there was a local league. She was told “yes”–when she started one. So she did. “President,” “board member,” and even “district administrator” were some of the titles she held through the years. It’s that passion for providing opportunities for children that later led her to join  Hillsborough County (Fla.) Parks, … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, Issues, Parks and Rec Business, September 2012, Sports Spotlight | Leave a comment