September 2, 2009

Optimist football a big program in Idaho

Football season starts this week in Boise, Idaho when the Boise State Broncos take on the University of Oregon Ducks.  That close rivalry will fuel football fever right into the weekend when the Boise Noon Optimist Football program kicks off at the Optimist Youth Sports Complex.

More than 8,000 children participate in this dynamic program at the multi-million dollar facility developed by the Boise Noon Optimist Club and the City of Boise.  The football program began in 1949 and has always remained a volunteer program.  Optimist teams are not arranged by skill, but instead by neighborhoods according to age, weight, and residence.  The kids play an eight-week program and are coached by Optimist members and volunteers who return every year to instill good sportsmanship and leadership skills to these young athletes.

The Boise Noon Optimist Club provides opportunities for other nonprofit organizations to earn money manning the concession stands during the season.  They have also expanded their program to adjoining communities by sponsoring new Optimist Clubs in Emmett, Horseshoe Bend, Mountain Home and Nampa, Idaho.

Over the past ten years, the Nampa Optimist Club Football program has grown in a similar manner and they also own and operate a facility in the neighboring community that serves another 4,000 kids. 

These are great examples of how an Optimist Club can work with city officials,businesses,  community leaders and volunteers to develop infrastructure and programming to meet the demands of a growing community.  Beginning with football fields, the complex has added soccer fields, concession stands, playgrounds and most recently a tennis court.  More tennis courts are planned for next summer and there is still room to grow.   The community is grateful for the hard work of these dedicated volunteers.  Thank you Optimist Clubs!

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