Father, Son and a Shared
Love of Football
New Bedford, Massachusetts
When 12-year-old Marcus talks about sports, you can hear the excitement in his voice. He loves them — especially football and his favorite NFL team, the New Orleans Saints. He shares this love with his dad, Tommy, who is a volunteer coach for the park and recreation agency.
Though he loves sports, Marcus wasn’t so sure about joining the local football team. Marcus says that, like many kids and teens, he can be a little shy. Luckily, two of Marcus’ friends, Kevin and Noah, were already involved with their park and recreation league. Marcus has loved playing football since the moment he joined them.
“It’s really fun, the coaches are great,” Marcus shares. “I like helping my team score touchdowns and get extra points, that sort of thing. It’s an awesome feeling. It’s been the most fun time of my life.”
Part of what Marcus loves is the sense of acceptance and belonging he found in The City of New Bedford’s sports programs, which are hosted through the Parks, Recreation & Beaches Department.
“All the coaches are really interactive with the kids. If you’re ever feeling left out, they will be there for you,” Marcus says.
Meanwhile, Marcus’ dad, Tommy, volunteers as a coach because he wants to see kids in his community succeed — and hopes to be part of that success through coaching. Tommy believes that sports help kids learn important life skills such as teamwork, responsibility and commitment while building confidence.
“When it comes to parks and rec, sometimes it’s about kids who wouldn’t play a sport like football otherwise. Maybe they felt like they wouldn’t fit in, weren’t good enough. It’s showing them that they ARE good enough, that they CAN play,” he says.
Like Marcus, Tommy has found the experience to be both rewarding and fun. On one memorable occasion, a player even told Tommy he’s the best coach he’s ever had!
“You know they say, ‘If you can make a difference for just one kid, then it’s worth it,’” Tommy says. “That’s what coaching through parks and rec has really felt like.”
For families thinking about signing up for youth sports, both father and son have the same thought: Don’t think twice — just give it a try. Once you do, you’ll learn just how fun park and recreation sports can be.