Thursday, August 23, 2012

Come Show Off Your Ping Pong Skills

Do you enjoy playing ping pong? If so, come show off your skills on Friday, August 24, at the department's first Ping Pong Challenge from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Blackwell Community Center located at 301 E. 15th Street. 
     Ping Pong, also known as table tennis, began as a parlor game in the 1880s and has evolved into an Olympic sport dominated largely by China. Today, it is played throughout the world for both exercise and recreation. It's known to help develop eye-hand coordination, reflexes, and mental alertness, and the game can be played at any age and enjoyed year-round, making it a life sport embraced by millions. In fact, ping pong is said to rank second only to soccer in number of participants.
     As a sport, ping pong has been likened to “high speed chess.” It can be intense and physically and mentally challenging, requiring lightening fast reflexes and incredible agility. No matter how well you play, this is your opportunity to meet and play the game with others who enjoy it. For more information or to register to play, call (804) 646-8490. A $3 optional donation is requested.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Northside Dog Park Opening Saturday

The department will open its third public dog park on Saturday, August 18, with a celebration from 9 a.m. to noon that will include food, music, prizes, canine demonstrations, activities and treats for all. All dogs that are spayed or neutered and their owners are invited to attend.
     The Northside Dog Park is located behind Henderson Middle School at the end of Forest Lawn Drive. A map locating the park and much more fun information can be found online at 
     The new dog park includes two sections, one for large dogs and one for small dogs, and has ample parking, park benches and picnic tables. It was built with volunteer help from the Friends of the Northside Dog Park, who were instrumental in organizing support for the park and determining its location. Organized as a 501-C3 under the Enrichmond Foundation, the Friends of the Northside Dog Park are also sponsors of the opening celebration and have developed the website at to continue to raise support for the park.
     The dog park’s hours will be from sunrise to sunset, and is free for anyone to use. The park rules are posted at the site.
     “We are very pleased to see the opening of this new city dog park,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. “With our other dog parks, Barker Field located in Byrd Park and the Church Hill Dog Park located beside Chimborazo Park, this helps us round out our services to our canine friends and their families. We are most appreciative of the Friends of the Northside Dog Park, who have helped make this possible.” 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Department to train coaches on sports injuries, concussions

The department will conduct a seminar for its youth football and soccer coaches on dealing with sports injuries and recognizing the symptoms of concussions.
     “Every year we have hundreds of youth playing football and soccer on our recreational teams, and the dangers of injuries, especially concussions, are something we cannot overlook,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of the department. “We are very pleased to have Dr. Charles Dillard, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitations, traumatic brain injury and concussion, to help educate our staff and volunteers on this important topic this year.”
     Dr. Dillard is a native of Richmond and an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). He currently serves as the medical director of CHoR’s Traumatic Brain Injury Program.
     The seminar will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11, in the auditorium at the department’s Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, located at 4901 Old Brook Road, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
     The department holds training seminars for its coaches, who are primarily community volunteers, every year, and all first-year coaches are certified by the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. Residents who have an interest in serving as a volunteer coach or assistant can contact the community center where they would like to volunteer or call the department at (804) 646-1175 for more information. A list of community centers can be found on the department’s website. 


Registration for football, cheerleading expanded

The department is expanding opportunities for children between the ages of 5 and 14 who live in the city and are not beyond eighth grade in school to register to play football and participate in cheerleading this fall. Registration will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6; Wednesday, Aug. 8; and Thursday, Aug. 9, at the following locations: 

    • Battery Park Community Center, 2803 DuPont Circle
    • Blackwell Community Center, 300 E. 15th St.
    • G. H. Reid Community Center, 1301 Whitehead Rd.
    • Hickory Hill Community Center, 3000 E. Belt Blvd.
    • Hotchkiss Community Center, 701 E. Brookland Park Blvd.
    • Linwood Robinson Senior Center, 700 N. 26th St.
    • Powhatan Community Center, 5051 Northampton St.
    • Randolph Community Center, 1415 Grayland Ave.
    • T.B. Smith Community Center, 2015 Ruffin Rd.
    • Westover Community Center, 1301 Jahnke Rd.       

In addition, registration will take place at these same sites on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as previously announced. 
     The registration fee is $25 per child. A utility bill or rent receipt to verify city residency, a report card or current year school schedule to verify grade level, and a birth certificate to verify age will be required at registration, and a parent or guardian must sign a waiver.
     Practices will begin on Monday, August 6, and all games will be held on Saturdays beginning on September 8. The season will culminate in tournament championship games and an awards ceremony.
     For more information, call 804-646-5733.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

City to Hold Youth Tennis Tournament

The department will hold a Richmond Youth Tennis Tournament at Byrd Park on August 17 – August 19.
      The tournament is for city resident boys and girls ages 8 to 18 who are novice or beginner players with no previous tournament experience. The purpose of the program is to introduce tournament play to youth who are new to the sport.
     The tournament will be played on Friday, August 17, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and continue on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and also on Sunday if necessary.
     Registration costs just $10 per player and requires a birth certificate or school record as proof of age and a utility bill for proof or residency. The deadline to register for the tournament is Monday, August 13.
     For more information or to register, call 804-901-5237.                                                                         ###