New Castle County sports programs have won two prestigious awards, officials announced Tuesday.
One honors the work of the Division of Community Resources in the county’s Department of Community Services and the second honors the same division in collaboration with the county Department of Special Services, which is responsible for park upkeep.
The Department of Community Services Sports Office and Department of Special Services Property Maintenance have received the James Farrell Certificate of Excellence for conducting one of the highest rated Amateur Softball Association or ASA/USA Softball National Championships in 2016.
This summer’s event marked the Amateur Softball Association’s first championship tournament in Delaware, with nearly 500 girls coming from as far as Michigan, New Hampshire and Virginia to compete on 32 teams.
Praised by County Executive Thomas P. Gordon as great exposure for the county and its parks -- as well as a boost for the local economy -- the championship is estimated to have generated an impact topping $1 million at area businesses alone.
The county partnered with the Delaware Sports Commission, Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Maryland/D.C./Delaware chapter of ASA/USA Softball in the successful bid to bring the first-time event to the state and county.
Gordon, who threw out the first ball at the tournament, said the county received “incredible feedback” about the Delcastle Recreation Center in the Milltown area and other county facilities where games were held.
“Many players, coaches and family members who came to support them said we have world class parks,” he said, adding he expects many of the guests will make return visits to New Castle County.
“We want to specifically recognize Andy Bero in the Sports Office for his leadership in this effort and for chairing the event planning committee for 18 months,” Gordon said, citing the Sports Administrator.
The Division of Community Resources also was honored by the U.S. Tennis Association Delaware District as its “Organization of the Year,” Division Manager Jane Rattenni said.
That award honors the county for offering free tennis programs at Glasgow Regional Park and Bonsall Park in Brandywine Hundred.
“This is an excellent example of the division’s efforts to provide all residents with access to programs that promote healthy and active living,” said General Manager Sophia Hanson of the Department of Community Services.
“We want to especially thank Susan Eggert, Recreation Supervisor, for her leadership to develop this partnership with the USTA, along with Carey Corbin, Community Services Coordinator, and Taya Dianna, Graphic Artist, for their efforts to promote and market the program,” Rattenni added. For more information about sports programs offered by New Castle County – with more than 740 teams and 12,000 individual players in its programs each year – visit www.nccde.org/499/Sports, which has details of seasonal programs, sports leagues, instructional camps and clinics.
More information also is available by calling the Division of Community Resources’ Sports Office, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, at (302) 395-5890.