DES MOINES, Iowa — Youth basketball is an integral part of an active community, but as the interest in youth basketball continues to grow, so does the need for more volunteer youth coaches.
Now three organizations are coming together to encourage people to get out on the court and inspire kids to engage in sports.
Parks and Recreation Department Supervisor Mike Bahl told Local 5 that youth sports are more popular than ever.
"With our $5 youth scholarship that we provide, our sports numbers have skyrocketed, where it's getting access to a lot more youth kids in the community to play sports,” Bahl said.
And with more youth in Des Moines playing basketball, comes the need for more coaches.
"Finding passionate, knowledgeable people that want to help these youth in our community find a passion for sports is just more important and it's one of our biggest hurdles,” Bahl said.
The City of Des Moines, the YMCA and the Iowa Wolves are partnering, with the goal of getting more people to volunteer as a youth basketball coach thanks to an online video tutorial.
"We put this together with our new head coach Ernest Scott, and some other friends in the community, just to make it easier for someone to actually coach youth basketball,” said Iowa Wolves Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Chip Albright.
After watching the video, people are encouraged to sign up to coach youth basketball through the city's parks and rec department.
Albright said they're hoping to get at least 50 new coaches signed up which would allow over 500 more kids to play basketball.
"So the more opportunity we can create for more kids, we think that's the better our community can be,” Albright said.
In creating that opportunity, Bahl said, is also the opportunity to make life-long memories.
"Ask anybody that grew up playing sports as a kid, it was one of their best memories. It was. It's always a lot of fun,” Bahl said. “It helps you meet new kids in the community, helps you get to know your classmates a lot better, and then it just never hurts to be up and moving around."
And if inspiring future generations of athletes isn't enough, the gig comes with another incentive: anyone who volunteers to coach this year will get free tickets to an Iowa Wolves game.