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IRD director sets new goals for program

As the director of the Ironton Recreation Department, I've been asked to write a column discussing some of the different aspects of my new job. My goal is to show what recreation in Ironton is now and what it can evolve into.

There may be lots of ideas out there when deciding what the recreation department in Ironton is all about. Many people see this position as simply the person in charge of maintaining the parks that are owned by the city of Ironton. That is part of the job but there is much more to it.

Recreation in Ironton means lots of different things. It certainly revolves around the parks but it also includes different programs. These programs currently include the Ironton youth basketball league and the Ironton football cheerleader squads. These programs included more than 175 of our city's youth in 2004-2005.

I hope to revive and create programs that will involve many more Ironton citizens - young and old. Some of my future plans involve bringing back some old programs like adult softball leagues and the Punt, Pass and Kick football competition.

One new program that has already taken shape was the basketball camp held at the Ironton Middle School for one week in June. With the support of several people in the Ironton City Schools, the camp was a big success. More than 40 children showed up each day.

The children got some instruction on basketball skills as well as an opportunity to compete in some different games. The campers also got the opportunity to listen to a former high school basketball coach talk about some shooting techniques.

As the recreation director, I look forward to working with several different groups in promoting recreation in Ironton. These groups include the Ironton City Schools and their athletic programs as well as the Ironton Little League.

I also look forward to working with the citizens in Ironton who are interested in recreation in any way. It is great to see that so many people are still excited about recreation in our city. Since growing up in Ironton, I've always seen this city as a "sports town."

Irontonians have always followed their sports teams and have also been active in sports. This enthusiasm means a lot to me as it tells me I will have plenty of support while attempting to revive the city's recreation department.

My goal for the recreation department in Ironton is to be open to ideas and accessible to everyone. All ideas on how to improve recreation in Ironton are welcome and encouraged.

As your recreation director, I'd like to hear your ideas on new programs and ways to improve current ones.

Jimmy Mahlmeister is recreation director for the City of Ironton. He may be reached at (740) 532-6224 or by e-mail at irontonrecreation@yahoo.com.