Greensboro Parks & Recreation offers activities for young people

Pickleball, disc golf and field hockey are some of the sports Greensboro Parks & Recreation is offering for teens and kids this summer.

GREENSBORO, NC — It seems like every day we see more crimes involving teens, which makes it more important to provide opportunities for youth in the community during the summer.

Britt Huggins, director of youth development for Greensboro Parks and Recreation, said this is one of their top priorities. He said they spend a lot of time trying to get community feedback on what kids and teens are interested in doing on their summer vacation.

That’s why they’re offering sports like pickleball, disc golf, traditional golf, and even field hockey this summer.

Huggins said they hope to give young people a chance to try something new and find a fun and safe outlet.

“What kind of a comeback to our first summer that you know of COVID and you know in the sense that we have a lot more offers than we’ve had in the past few years. So we’re really excited to launch the things this summer,” Huggins said.

All sports clinics except field hockey are $25 one-time. Field hockey is new this year and free to anyone interested. This will include the necessary equipment for the sport and Huggins said the children will be able to take it home.

He also said financial assistance was available for anyone who needed it.

One of the sports Huggins says is getting a lot of interest is pickleball. Huggins describes the sport as a mix of ping pong, badminton and tennis.

“The rules are a little wonky at first with the scoring and such that once you figure it out it’s a lot of fun and I promise you’ll get addicted to it,” Huggins said.

According to the USA Pickleball Participation Report, nearly 5 million Americans purchased a pickleball racquet last year and the sport has grown nearly 40% over the past two years.

Huggins said he’s seen that growth here, too. He thinks it’s because it’s a fairly easy sport to play and one you can play for a lifetime.

“It’s a growing sport and it’s a coming sport and it’s something we hear that we need more courts, we need better access to pickleball in the community. So we want our youngsters to know how to play as well,” Huggins said.

Besides sports, there are also opportunities for teenagers who are not athletic. There is the Teen Adventure Camp by the lake, the STEAM activities at the Caldcleugh Center and the service learning camp.

For more information on children’s activities and camps, visit the “kids” tab of the Greensboro Parks & Rec website. On their website, you can also click on the “teenagers” tab to get information on things for their age group.

Sally J. Minick