It probably isn’t a surprise to the people who have participated in the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground’s athletic programs.
The South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association recently named St. Andrew’s as its Athletic Program of the Year, the second straight year it has earned the honor in its division and the seventh time in the past decade.
“There is an extensive application. You can’t remain status quo. It’s ‘what have you done new?’ ” said Tim Orvin, athletic director for St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground since 2002.
“It means a lot. It shows that we set a high standard for our programs every year,” added assistant athletic director Bill Klauss, who has been with the department for just over two years.
Orvin and Klauss are the only two full-time employees in the athletic department, which has 26 part-time workers, 45 seasonal workers and 350 volunteers.
Six years ago, St. Andrew’s partnered with the city of Charleston to cover athletic programs for West Ashley.
The number of participants last year was 4,362 in 28 sports. Sports offered include baseball, football, softball, soccer, cheerleading, track, volleyball and wrestling.
“Together, we offer complete recreation for the West Ashley area with a common fee structure,” Orvin said, noting that PSD and city residents all pay the same fee.
Baseball is St. Andrew’s marquee sport, and St. Andrew’s has not only fielded many outstanding teams but the Parks and Playground Department’s ball fields also have received state recognition thanks to the work of maintenance director Patrick Jonas.
“We have a grass infield and warning tracks in the outfield, an actual pitching mound. Our facilities are manicured and polished. People are always asking if we are going to host tournaments,” Orvin said.
This year, St. Andrew’s will play host to the 20-team Cal Ripken Baseball 10-under Southeast Regional featuring teams from seven states, including four South Carolina teams. Other items on the St. Andrew’s resume include a quarterly sportsmanship program and a concussion education program.
St. Andrew’s Public Service District has offered athletic programs to the West Ashley area since 1945, and those who have participated continued to give back.
Mark Spinn, the director of marketing and public relations, said last year four generations were represented at a T-ball game.
“We have umpires who played here and coaches who played here,” Klauss said.
“I think what sets our program apart is consistency,” Orvin said. They enjoy coming back.”
St. Andrew’s, the last decade
South Carolina Athletics Program Athletic Department of the Year: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012
National Alliance for Youth Sports Excellence Award: 2004, 2007
Sports Illustrated Good Sports Award: 2005