Ever wonder who leads our non-profit organization? Meet Mike Jarpe – Spirit League Coach, dad to athlete Zach, and our new President of the Board of Directors. Mike shares how he started with Spirit League and where the Program is headed in the years ahead.
How did you get involved with Spirit League? “We learned about Spirit League from a friend of the family whose son was an athlete. We started out with baseball, then soccer and basketball.”
What is your favorite sport to coach and why? “It’s a toss-up between baseball and soccer. Soccer is lots of fun because of the energy of the athletes and the size of the field. I love baseball though because I get a chance to be one on one and teach specific skills. There is nothing like seeing one of your athletes get a big hit and run the bases!”
What advice would you give someone considering volunteering with the League for the first time? “First of all, you won’t be disappointed. Watching the kids learn and make new connections is very rewarding. My advice would be to enjoy yourselves. It is a chance for you to be a part of a team, too.”
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I” have recently taken up a new hobby of astronomy and astrophotography. I am not very good at it yet but it is really humbling to see how small we are compared to the rest of the universe.”
Where do you see Spirit League in three years? “I have watched Spirit League grow in the last 6 years since I started volunteering. It started 15 years ago as a group of 4 families on a basketball court and grown to over 450 families across 3 sports. It has been an objective to keep the small community feel and at the same time provide opportunities for as many families as we can. The Board and staff have done an excellent job in the past to set us up for some new things. This year we are adding an adult basketball league so as the athletes get older, they can continue to forge and maintain great friendships with their peers. We are also looking to expand our programs so that even more families can participate. This is an exciting time for Spirit League and I encourage everyone to get involved as best they can in this amazing organization.”
Thanks, Mike, for sharing your Spirit League story and for volunteering your time and efforts for athletes with special needs. You are appreciated.