Basalt beefs up recreation events, leagues for adults | AspenTimes.com

Basalt beefs up recreation events, leagues for adults

Staff report

The town of Basalt Recreation Department has extensively beefed up events, programs and leagues for adults and high school-aged young adults this fall.

Recreation Director Dorothy Howard added Katheryne "Kat" Fitzpatrick to her staff and urged her to take the department in new directions, according to Fitzpatrick, who formerly helped run events at Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District.

Fitzpatrick, the recreation coordinator, is trying to get the word out about all the new offerings for adults this fall and winter.

They include:

• Men's Basketball League: Fitzpatrick started the league three seasons ago while she was at Crown Mountain Park. She brought it with her to the town of Basalt and has the support of the school district for use of facilities. There are eight teams currently playing in the league, which is the most ever, she said.

• A Turkey Bowl Flag Football Tournament will be held Nov. 14. It is a one-day flag football tournament where all of the money raised will benefit the Basalt High School football program. Players and coaches help referee the games. The registration deadline for the Turkey Bowl Flag Football Tournament is Nov. 10.

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• The town will host the first-ever pickleball tournament in December at Basalt High School. It's the fastest growing sport in the country.

"I really want to provide players the opportunity to play. There are so many people in the valley who love the sport and want to play," Fitzpatrick said. Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.

• A coed volleyball league will run from Jan. 10 through March 13 on Sunday nights at Basalt High School. A coed volleyball tournament will be held in January to benefit the local youth volleyball club and help them buy equipment and tournament fees.

In youth events, the Basalt Recreation Department has taken the Valley Chaos Volleyball Club under its wing.

"I have worked very hard to create (the club) in the past year," Fitzpatrick said. "There was a need for a volleyball club, as the closest club team was Glenwood, and the cost to play was over $3,000 per player."

It's important for school volleyball players to continue playing in the offseason, she said. Fitzpatrick speaks from experience. She was a former multi-sport star at Basalt High School. It's also important to keep programs affordable, she said.

"I played volleyball with girls who couldn't play basketball during the basketball season because they were playing club volleyball and it was too expensive to play both, and their commute was to Vail for practices and to Denver for games," she said.

The new club is based in Basalt and open to any players in the valley. "We work to keep the costs of the entire season — tournament fees, equipment, jerseys, coaches — to under $400 per player," Fitzpatrick said.

Practices are at Basalt and tournaments are in Grand Junction. Tryouts for club volleyball will be held in late October.

For more on the programs and for registration, go to http://www.basaltexpress rec.org.