Full Grown, Slow Pitch

St. Andrew’s Parks takes a swing at adult sports offerings

adult softball st. andrew's parks playgroundBy Charlie Morrison I Staff Writer

St. Andrew’s Parks & Playground is offering a slow-pitch adult co-ed softball league this fall with games being played on Tuesday nights. The season will commence Sept. 21 and run through the fall, wrapping up Nov. 16. This latest offering from the award-winning, traditionally youth sports-focused organization represents their first serious attempt to provide adult sports to the West Ashley community.

St. Andrew’s marketing an special events director Mark Spinn, initially brought the idea to the organization’s leadership more than a year ago. With the necessary steps having recently been taken to make the league a reality, Spinn is excited to see the project come to fruition. Spinn, who is also taking the title of director for adult sports, is the first to point out that adult softball will be the first of many adult programs the group will eventually offer to West Ashley residents.

“What we’re trying to do with the co-ed adult softball is to begin a process of bringing older members of the family into the Parks and Playground world,” says Spinn. “They know we serve their kids through all of the youth sports but we really want to extend our reach and let people know they can have fun with us whether they’re 5 or 50.

“We’re known for our high quality youth sports, that’s kind of our hallmark,” Spinn continues. “We’re looking to take that same quality and apply our standards and the way we emphasize having fun in a safe, family-friendly environment to these adult sports.”
The reasons behind St Andrews’ offering adult sports are two-fold. The group sees a need in West Ashley for offering the same types of sports residents can find through the City of Charleston’s recreation leagues or the Charleston Social Club’s offerings, but based in West Ashley and run with St. Andrews’ established style of fun first.

Additionally, St. Andrew’s Parks & Playground is funded through taxes paid by West Ashley residents in unincorporated Charleston County. That tax base is shrinking through the continued annexations of residents into the City of Charleston. St. Andrew’s is taking the long-term approach to self-preservation by starting the process of offering revenue-generating athletics, the process that begins on Sept. 21 with adult co-ed softball.

“We have the facilities, so why not open it up. We’re building from the ground up trying to get the word out,” says Spinn. “We’re working on changing the mindset so people in West Ashley think about St. Andrew’s Parks & Playground not as just where they drop their kids off for T-ball but also as a place where they can come and play.”

According to Spinn, the staff at St. Andrew’s is open-minded when it comes to what particular offerings will follow co-ed softball. Everything from basketball to bocce ball is being considered. “In the winter we’re looking to do a 3-on-3 basketball league,” says Spinn. “The idea is that the brand will eventually extend into the adult population.’”

For more information on St. Andrew’s Parks and Playgrounds and it new co-ed adult softball league, go to their website at www.standrewsparks.com or call 843-763-4360.

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