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Parents more selective about sports their kids play

Parents more selective about sports their kids play



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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation has such a high demand for its youth sports programs that workers used to have to turn people away.

"This year we're not seeing that. We're seeing registration numbers basically at the same level where we were at--just a slight drop," said public relations manager Martin Jensen.

Jensen says enrollment is down 2 to 3 percent, and no specific sports program is seeing a significant decline compared to the rest of them.

"Parents are not registering their children for two or three programs. They're having to make some choices and register them for, say, only one program," Jensen explained.

Now the county is making some changes in hopes that registration numbers won't drop further. Jensen says they're trying to keep their registration fees as low as they can, so they're making long-term estimates on how many kids will play in the future.

"We're trying to plan out farther ahead [and] order our equipment earlier, in larger quantities, so we're able to get it at a cheaper price," Jensen said.

Some of the extras will also have to go. Flag football players won't get tickets to the 2009 University of Utah football season.

In 2010, the county won't give free tickets for another team.

"When kids and moms sigh up for a soccer program, they won't get a ticket for Real [Salt Lake]," Jensen said.

County officials are still working with both teams trying to arrange possible discounts for families that sign up.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

Paul Nelson

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