This is a big week for youth athletics in Oak Ridge! With the adoption of the 2020 Usage Agreement between the Town of Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge Youth Association, we have solidified our longstanding partnership and renewed our mutual commitment to providing excellent sports opportunities for area families. This agreement acknowledges ORYA’s significant contribution to exceptional youth programing through the dedication of numerous parent and community volunteers. Additionally, it recognizes that the Town of Oak Ridge directly subsidizes ORYA programs by providing first-class facilities at Oak Ridge Town Park.
More than 300 days in the making, this agreement began with discussions between ORYA and the Town’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board last fall when the 2019 agreement was up for renewal. A need for more substantial change was identified and for the last 6 months the Oak Ridge Youth Athletics subcommittee, the ORYA Board of Directors, Parks and Rec, and members of the community have worked together to forge a solid working framework. Discussions centered around improving communications between all groups and the best solutions for continuing to provide quality youth programming in our community through a renewed partnership.
We believe that this agreement will strengthen the sports programs offered through ORYA and allow more kids access to programs at Oak Ridge Town Park. Since the park was built, the Town has offered ORYA priority use of Town Park athletic fields at no charge. This new agreement quantifies the level of in-kind direct support the Town provides to ORYA and their young athletes. Recognizing our shared commitment, ORYA will acknowledge the partnership through various media and signage and the Town will help promote ORYA events that take place at Oak Ridge Town Park.
Thanks to the willingness of all parties to sit down at the table and have candid conversations, we have taken a fresh look at youth athletics in Oak Ridge and begun the work of strengthening relationships that will benefit local youth and families as we continue our mutually beneficial partnership.
Oak Ridge Youth Athletics subcommittee
ORYA Board of Directors