Poulsbo parks program springs into busy season

POULSBO — For Poulsbo Parks and Recreation, spring means new programs and a new attitude.

POULSBO — For Poulsbo Parks and Recreation, spring means new programs and a new attitude.

“The kids have a different personality,” said Recreation Programmer Joe Schiel. “The sun’s coming out and they get to play.”

Schiel is working to prepare the district’s spring programs and hopes to add some less-than-familiar offerings with the old favorites.

The spring season will have familiar names like Basketball Basics, coached by Tony Chisholm, and the Mighty Midgets program, which teaches basketball skills to the youngest North Kitsap hoopsters.

But Schiel and the rest of the staff hope the new programs become as popular as the old.

Among the new programs the department is testing will be an adult slowpitch program and a youth volleyball program for kids from grades 4-6.

The slowpitch program, Schiel said, was requested by players who enjoyed the summer program but were looking for a less-relaxed pace.

“The summer is a family program,” Schiel said. “We don’t keep stats. We just play.”

The spring program, Schiel said, will have accurate stats, a more competitive level of play, and seeding for the playoffs.

“It’s a whole different atmosphere,” he said. “But it’s something teams have asked about.”

Schiel hopes the program gets six teams, the number needed to get it off the ground.

He also has high hopes for the volleyball program, which includes involvement from North Kitsap High School Head Volleyball Coach Clay Blackwood.

The volleyball program will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings for girls in grades 4-6; the cost is $99 for the entire course, which includes one hour of training per session plus an hour-long scrimmage to test new skills.

The season will also have old favorites such as Basketball Basics, Thunderbolt Track (with Olympic High School Coach Greg Chapman), youth tennis and the Mighty Midgets.

The Midgets program is another that has grown fast; the last program the department held before spring had 40 participants.

“We needed it,” said Schiel, who coaches in the youth basketball programs. “There was a gap in opportunities for kids in grades 1-3. Their social structure isn’t set for team play, but they want to be active. They see their older brother or sister doing something, and they want to do it too.”

The parks and recreation department will also hold preschool and kindergarten sports including T-ball, outdoor and indoor soccer, and basketball (for kindergarten only).

There will be a girls’ recreational softball program for girls ages 7-14, a tennis class for boys and girls from 7-15, and recreation basketball for girls in grades 4-10.

Basketball will also be offered for boys grades 4-9.

Parks and recreation also hosts several adult sports including racquetball, basketball, soccer, and kayaking.

There will be a golf clinic from June 23-27 for adults.