S.P.O.R.T.S. Celebrates Volunteerism During 2019 Season
For many youngsters throughout the Hamilton Southeastern School District, spring and summer means sports. Scott Spillman, executive director at S.P.O.R.T.S. (Southeastern Program of Recreational Team Sports) on Promise Road near 126th Street and I-69, says his organization, which offers 12 different leagues and 11 sports, is proud of the volunteers who make each season special for as many local youths as possible.
“There’s so much value in adults giving back to the youth locally,” Spillman says. “All of the 12 member leagues under the S.P.O.R.T.S. umbrella are volunteer-led, and each one is its own 501(c)(3). So there are a lot of great volunteers doing a lot of heavy lifting to make sure those sports are the best they can be out on the field.”
Founded back in 1987 as a private, non-profit, community-based youth athletics organization, S.P.O.R.T.S. offers structured leagues in the fall, winter and spring for basketball, football, lacrosse, cheer, soccer and more. All league participants, coaches and board members must reside in the Hamilton Southeastern school district, and ages range from four to 18.
Each coach is given training in preparation for their season, and Spillman says S.P.O.R.T.S. is currently welcoming volunteers for board member positions as well as head and assistant coaching spots.
“For a lot of our leagues, and especially our niche sports like lacrosse and rugby, coaches go through training modules through the national governing body that they report to,” Spillman explains. “With some of our more established leagues like soccer, baseball and softball, we host a coaching clinic before the season going over basic drills, team management, and how to deal with difficult parents.”
S.P.O.R.T.S. typically sees more than 10,000 registrations per year, and last year the organization gave out 316 youth sports scholarships to local, in-need kids totaling $33,926.
“We’re never going to turn volunteers away,” adds Spillman, who assumed the S.P.O.R.T.S. executive director role in December of 2017. “Some of our teams only have a head coach, and we’d love for all of our leagues to have head coaches as well as assistant coaches. We are also looking for people to help out at the board level — all of the board of directors are volunteers.”
Current S.P.O.R.T.S. Board Vice President Alyssa Anderson began her involvement with S.P.O.R.T.S. back in 2013 when her son enrolled in soccer, and previously served as a league commissioner and eventually league president.
“I enjoyed learning about the sport and working to streamline and improve league communication and operations,” Anderson says. “Six months into my presidency it clicked that leading the league was all about the family experience rather than the tasks and logistics. That mindset shift really drove our mission as a league, and we implemented programs and curriculum to support kids, coaches and families during their soccer experience.”
Spillman stresses the social and networking benefits that can come from volunteering with his organization, as well as the gratification that comes with helping out on the local level.
“I think people can be amazed at how much fun it can be and how many new people they can meet,” he says. “In this day and age where we’re all so busy and on our phones and computers all the time, you can kind of lose sight of the fact that you can have some great personal interactions out on the ball field or a basketball court.”
Interested in volunteering? Visit hsesports.org for more information on volunteer opportunities and registration details. S.P.O.R.T.S. is located at 12690 Promise Road in Fishers.
Fall sports registration, which includes baseball, softball, cheer, cross country, football, soccer and girls volleyball and field hockey, will run through the entire month of May, with a late fee starting June 1. Those interested can register online or bring a completed registration form to the S.P.O.R.T.S. office.