New recreation center rules aimed at unsupervised children

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Parent coach Virrone Felton, center, does drills with her players on the Hot Shots basketball team at practice last week at the Havelock Recreation Center. A new rule at the center says children under 14 must be supervised by a parent or coach.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 02:10 PM.

Havelock Recreation Director Dave Smith would like to remind parents that the city’s recreation center is not a day care facility.

As the calendar flipped to a new year, a new rule at the center requires children under age 14 using the facility to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Smith said children at the facility for practices with a supervised coach or instructor are permitted, but he said once practices or games are over, the children must have a parent or guardian with them.

"It’s not a day care," Smith said of the recreation facility. "Coming in here to the center right now, our fees for anyone 17 and under are only a dollar so I can see why the temptation would be to bring a kid here thinking we’re probably the cheapest babysitter in town, but we’re not set up for that. That’s not what we’re designed for. We’re designed for kids to come and be active and participate."

Smith said some parents have complained since the the new rule was implemented.

"Sometimes they really get upset and almost belligerent when the staff tells them that we can’t watch your child," he said. "We’re not equipped to be a daycare."

Smith said the biggest problem has been on Saturdays when the day is full of basketball games and practices.

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