Budget cut fatality

The City Council effectively killed roller-hockey in Greensboro yesterday.  The growth of participation in the sport has been hampered for many years because Greensboro has never had a regulation-sized rink like other cities our size.

According to P&R Director Dan Maxson, there are no plans to remove the only remaining roller hockey surface at The SportsPlex.  However, the elimination of Ed Hathaway’s position as roller-hockey program coordinator will likely cause participation to drop dramatically.  Ed has been the driving force behind Greensboro’s national notoriety as a roller hockey hotbead for many years.

Without Ed’s boosterism for the sport, it will only be a metter of time before roller hockey’s presence at the SportPlex will become a financial liability on the facility.  I predict it won’t be long before volleyball or some other sport will encroach on the rink that my family has spent so much time around over the years.

Greensboro needs a full-sized rink like the one recommended in a proposed Capitol Improvement Program from the P&R department last year.  Until one gets built, either publicly or privately, the fine sport that my family has enjoyed so much over the years will be in decline from here on out.

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5 Comments

  1. Sandy Carmany
    Posted June 9, 2006 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    David,
    According to the impact notes the council received on each of the cut proposals, the in-line hockey program has not been financially succcessful and that existing positions will have to absorb the summer camps and a diminished hockey program. So it was already a financial liability where the Sportsplex currently recovers 70% of its operating costs through fees (as opposed to only 16% at the rest of the city’s rec centers). This made it an easy target, I guess.

  2. Bill
    Posted June 9, 2006 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    This is terrible news! Ed is everything you could possible want in an athletics program director. His love for the kids, his love of the game, and his emphasis on sportsmanship, having fun, and developing skills has, to me, been the epitome of making sure sports can be a strong positive force for good in the lives of kids. The USA Hockey lifetime achievment award he received certainly shows recognition of what an extraordinary job he does.

    We moved away from Greensboro almost three years ago. My son continues to participate in both rec and travel hockey, and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve wished we’ve had a clone of Ed in charge so that things would be done right. We’ve enjoyed seeing him and the Greensboro teams at Coastal Cup and other tournaments over the years, and Ed always has a big hug for my son.

    As for Sandy’s comment, I wonder how many city sponsored programs for kids make money.

    Just when I’m feeling great about hockey, with all the success of the Canes, here is something to make me feel terrible about the state of the sport locally.

  3. John Wasmund
    Posted June 9, 2006 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I just heard the news concerning the inline hockey program at the Greensboro Sportsplex.

    We recently moved here to Greensboro from Wilmington NC and my son has played roller hockey for the past 5 years.

    You have a really good thing here at the sportsplex with the roller hockey league. The kids and parents support the program
    and my son’s participation in the league has been very good for him. I have been impressed very much with the kids and parents
    associated with the program.

    Ed Hathaway was one of the first people we met here in Greensboro when I was considering accepting an engineering position in the
    area. His enthusiam for the sport and the kids was infectious, and he helped to put my son at ease during a difficult time of transition
    for a teenager. Given the support I have seen for the sport here, I would entreat the city to please reconsider the move to cut the
    program. Give the large number of kids and parently I have seen, this move would impact a very large number of people.

    Regards,

    John D. Wasmund

  4. The Matthews Family
    Posted June 9, 2006 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    We have 2 boys that have played roller hockey for almost 10 years. Ed Hathaway has been a vital part of the whole program ever since e we have been involved. Ed has taught our teenagers sportsmanship and good character. This program (thanks to Ed’s commitment) has allowed our boys to meet and become friends with other hockey players, not only in this area, but in other cities that have a fully functional hockey program.
    Anyone who has ever met Ed Hathaway knows that he truly cares about every player and their experience at this rink. If we as a city card so much about our youth, why would Ed’s position be in jeopardy when he has done so much for all of our kids.
    Most children started this program when they were 6 or 7 years old, and like our boys, they have continued to play and enjoy this sport through out their high school years. As parents, we have enjoyed this experience almost as much as they have.
    I have coached “house league” and “travel teams with and under Ed Hathaway. Ed is a tremendous asset to all the families and youth who have been involved in this sport.
    Eliminating Ed’s position would not only be a loss of our hockey coordinator, but also a great loss of a role model truly dedicated to Greensboro’s youth over many, many years.
    This would be a huge mistake!!!
    Bryan, Keith, Jeff and Joyce Matthews

  5. John Wrenn
    Posted June 11, 2006 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I would venture a guess that the property taxes paid by the citizens of this city whose children participate in the roller hockey program are more than sufficient to cover the costs of the hockey program director. I guess I shouldn’t be suprised at the callousness of this decision to eliminate the director of the roller hockey program. We are just a minnow program in a large pond, but considering the millions the city will spend to convert an old railway bed to a greenway trail that will be used by a small number of people, yes I have been on the current portions of the trail and traffic is sparse, I would think they could spare a few bucks for a program that is much more successful than its size or revenue would suggest. I am also disappointed that they would cut a program that has been so important to the family of one of the members of the Parks and Rec Board. Why bother being a member if you can’t get support for your own kid’s sport. I hope that David Hoggard fought tooth and nail against this decision and will continue to fight as hard as he can, if not for the rest of our kids, but for Jackson as well.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Hogg’s Blog » Roller hockey advocacy on June 13, 2006 at 8:13 am

    [...] Once they found out that their sport-of-choice was being all but but eliminated by the city council’s straw poll decision to cut a SportsPlex position, local roller-hockey families are reacting with dismay, disappointment, and head-scratching as to how it all occured. [...]

  2. By Hogg’s Blog » They are the champions on June 20, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    [...] Update 7:45p:  In an stunning reversal of fortunes, our City Council voted to reinstate Ed Hathaway’s position as roller hockey coordinator during tonight’s meeting.  (background, Carmany’s blog) Have I mentioned lately just how smart and astute our city council is …most times? -dhoggard no comments trackback this article comment on this article [...]