Before I became this big advocate for creating healthy family relationships, and even before I completed my studies in Criminal Justice and Marriage and Family Counseling, there was my participation in youth sports programs. My early childhood memories are filled with the many sports team and organizations taht I particpated. From the friends I made along the way to the accolades I achieved. However, when I moved to my rural hometown of Charlotte County for the start of my high school years, to my dismay, there were no recreation programs for youth to participate. There was no community recreation for children to gather after school for activities or for children to participate in activities and camps during the summer. There was no park or playground for children to play. My mom bought me a basketball goal, and I would shoot hoops every day by myself. To much disappointment, nearly 15 years later, there is still no park or recreation program in my community.
Participating in the sports and recreation programs at an early age taught me great skills that have proved to be valuable in my overall development as an adult. I learned the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, and perseverance during adversity. I worked harder and vowed to come back the next year stronger and better after each season of playing in a sports league. I continued to pursue other activities at my recreation center to explore my interests when I was a kid. I was exposed to the arts and sports and was given the opportunity to participate in cultural activities. These essential skills have proved valuable in my personal and professional career. I was able to play basketball at a collegiate and semi-professional level. I have coached AAU state championship teams and led numerous basketball clinics for children in the Hampton Roads area, and most recently R-H girls’ basketball. Professionally, I am a Program Development Specialist with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services leading a committee on policy analysis and organizational change to better provide services for children who are the victims of crime and abuse. In addition, I am growing BFE to provide positive parenting and healthy relationship education.
I recognize the value that the Charlotte County Recreation Association can have for the youth and families in the community. When James Gregory first started this nonprofit program, I was in the 11th grade. I was one of the original coaches in the program. I remember the young boys who were on my team, many of them graduates in the classes of 2008-2010. Imagine the excitement to see them playing on the high school team and enjoying success. My last year of high school, the program expanded to include a girls division. Since then, CCRA has evolved into a great recreation program that many youth look forward to each season. Families gather to support their children, and many youth are taking a serious interest in the game of basketball. The hardwork is paying off with the middle and high school teams becoming contenders in conference play. Knowing the benefits of a recreation program for youth in the community, I can attest that there is a great need for CCRA and future programs and activities that can grow out of the organization.
This summer, I am leading an effort to support the projects at Westpoint Park and to advance the development of CCRA. I hope that you all will join me. To raise money in order to continue with the construction and play area, I am hosting a basketball tournament on behalf of CCRA on June 20, 2015 at Central Middle School. We are looking for teams to compete in the tournament for a “Go Hard or Go Home: Battle of the 434” single elimination 5-on-5 tournament. Team registration is in full effect from now until June 5, 2015. The cost for each team to compete is $175. The winning team will receive either a plague or trophy for the event. This is a great community activity that again will raise funds for CCRA. General admission is $10 for this all day event of fun and activities that will include live musical performances from local artists, raffles, and crowd games. In addition, there will also be various local vendors on hand to provide resources for families on ways to continue to enrich the family culture and to build the community.
For more information on participating in the tournament or to sponsor the event as a donor and/or vendor, please be sure to contact James Gregory, CCRA: (434) 315-3644 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Monique Williams, Event Organizer, email@example.com or . Also, please be sure to visit and Like: https://www.facebook.com/theccra.
If you are interseted in particpating as a team in the tournamnent, please download forms here.