By Maria-Jose Subiria
The Georgia Sports Alliance, a non-profit organization, recently announced a new partnership with the City of Riverdale.
Through the partnership, the city will provide an intramural basketball league, for youths, ages 5 to 18, according to GlenNeta Griffin, a spokesperson for Positive Press PR.
"The youth league will be among the first to take advantage of the multi-purpose gym and all the great amenities of the Riverdale Town Center," Griffin said, in a prepared statement.
Riverdale City Councilman Kenny Ruffin said the city decided to partner with the non-profit organization, because the city does not have a department to provide sports activities for the community, such as the basketball league.
"So we decided to partner with the [Georgia] Sports Alliance, because they have a raving track record of running tournaments and leagues in various sports," said Ruffin.
He said he wanted to provide something that was structural and positive for the city's environment. Ruffin said the league's season will run for 10 weeks, from January 2011, to March 2011. The youths will practice and play basketball games at the Riverdale Town Center, located at 7210 Church St.
Norris Jones, basketball director for the Georgia Sports Alliance, said the Sports Alliance will register youths every Saturday, until Nov. 20, from 10 a.m., to 2 p.m., at the Town Center.
The fee is $110 per child, which will assist in various areas, including the operation of the program, referees and uniforms, said Jones. "We hope to have a long-lasting partnership with the city," he said.
Councilman Ruffin said this is the first time Riverdale has had its own basketball facility, thanks to the Riverdale Town Center.
"We've never really had a basketball facility," said Ruffin. "It [has] always been run by [Clayton] County in their facilities."
Jones, of the Georgia Sports Alliance, said the non-profit organization is a sports programming provider, for youth and adult competitive, and non-competitive sports activities.
He said the Sports Alliance approached the City of Riverdale to see whether there was an interest in providing a sports league in the community, during the summer.
It just so happened, added Jones, that the city was building the Riverdale Town Center at the time.
Jones said planning for the league did not begin until September. Once a league was developed, the city and the Sports Alliance made their partnership official, on Oct. 23.
"Since Riverdale never had a [gymnasium] before, by starting a basketball league, it will give us an opportunity to get kids back in the community," he said.
Ruffin said that aside from the basketball league, the Town Center will provide more services for Riverdale residents, including an exercise room, a weight room, and the ability to rent space for events. He said the Town Center also provides a dance room and an art room.
"The Town Center's goal is to allow the community to live, work and play locally, in Riverdale," said Ruffin.