JOHN GRAVATT: Get in the game, for kid’s sake


The City of Houston Park and Recreation department is offering youth basketball this winter and P&R Director, John Gravat, shared his thoughts on the program and supporting quality youth programs in the area.

First, I just want to thank God for allowing me to be part of our city and county’s youth and also thank the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for having faith and trust in me to do this through the City of Houston which I’m proud and honored to have called my home for 43 years.
Everyone knows that our biggest youth sport is our summer baseball/softball program. My goal now is for the City to offer something year around for our youth and adults. Once we get these sports going, I want them to grow each year.
We have around 1,250 kids in first through sixth grades and usually have around 430 that play summer ball. That’s not bad but what are the other 820 doing?
I’ll tell you. Some are walking the streets, stealing, vandalizing or even just plain, old nothing.
I’ve asked kids why they don’t play and you’d be surprised at the ones that want to but their parents won’t let them because it would interfere with their plans. Well, let me tell you parents, if your child wants to do something, you better make the time to do it.
Coming from someone who has lost a child at an early age and thinking about those three young kids that lost their lives in Vardaman, we are not promised tomorrow. Whatever your child wants to do, then we as parents should be encourage and cheer them on to be the best they can be at whatever it may be.
Volunteers are needed in any and every thing that goes on in our town or community.
This is very important. One person can’t do everything. We need coaches, concession workers, refs, umpires, score keepers or just people to make phone calls. There is something for everyone to do. Without these people, then we can’t have this for your kids.
So please help all you can and even if you dn’t have a child playing, feel free to call and say, “I’ll help in any way.”

John Gravat is Park and Recreation Director for the City of Houston and can be contacted at 542-9139. For more on plans for a youth basketball league, see page 1B.


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