It may be easy to overlook youth sports coaches as just someone to look after children. However, their role couldn’t be farther from that. Through their coaching, Kevin and Courtney Armitage have taught kids more than just how to throw, hit, kick or shoot a ball. The Armitage’s recognized early in their volunteering that sport was a medium they could use to teach fundamental values and give every kid an equal opportunity to succeed in life.
Kevin and Courtney moved to the valley separately, fell in love, married in 2003, and started a family shortly thereafter. In search of activities for their children, they were introduced to Mountain Recreation where Kevin would take on coaching Wee Sports and t-ball. As their kids grew older, Kevin added youth basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and softball to the mix. Courtney would step in, coaching soccer and managing the challenges behind the scenes.
While interviewing this passionate and selfless couple, I could see the true joy volunteering brought them in the way they reminisced over the last ten years of coaching. I could see how meaningful this irreplaceable journey has been for them and how they have both grown because of it. What stood out the most was Kevin going above and beyond in his commitment to equality.
Courtney was in a special place to see what parents and spectators could not.
“Nobody sees the behind the scenes. Kevin has every seasons’ (statistics built into) spreadsheets. For baseball, it was keeping track that everyone batted first, second, and played every position. If it was basketball, it was equal play time down to the minute. The same went for every other sport. The amount of effort he put in the back end that no one saw was awesome to see. To know that he cared about every single one of the kids out there,” recalls Courtney.
Kevin’s dedication to equality and enrichment yielded athletes and more importantly encouraged our youth to reach for the stars. In doing so, he has brought our community together for a worthy cause. Sports have a special power because they can bring new and long-time community members together and create lasting friendships.
Seeing an individual kid succeed was exciting, but what was most rewarding for Kevin was seeing the whole team celebrate joyfully as they had just helped a teammate score. These are the special moments that steal your heart away. Kevin made it a priority not to get caught up in the heat of the game, instead focus on what is important – teaching kids fundamental values and setting them up for success.
Brad Johnson, a long-time employee of Mountain Rec recalls working with Kevin,
“He has been an integral part of our youth sports programs and embodies what these programs are about and the true meaning of developing each child. He has mentored his teams with positive energy and always maintained a safe environment for kids to learn. The patience he displays with every child is a value we want every coach to have.”
The Armitage’s incredible journey as volunteer coaches is coming to an end. Courtney will be the office manager at the Eagle Valley Middle School, where Kevin will help as a football coach – continuing to mentor many of the same faces he coached over the last decade.
We want to thank Kevin and Courtney for their devout service. They created a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere with their teams, giving every child an equal opportunity to live a healthy and happy life. If you’re interested in coaching for any of our youth sports leagues email info@MountainRec.org.
Eddie Campos is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Mountain Rec and can be reached via email at ECampos@MountainRec.org.