The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Youth sports of Pullman

How these sports shape children and many more in the community
Courtesy of DJ Mackie
Children playing soccer at the Pullman City Play Fields

DJ Mackie, Pullman Parks and Recreation director, works with the youth sports program to bring learning opportunities and athletics into children’s lives.  

“None of what we do is an absolute need, it’s a choice; it’s an experience that parents want for their kids. Giving these kids the opportunity to develop their skills and have fun is the reason I love working with the youth sports department,” Mackie said.  

This upcoming spring season, Pullman Parks and Recreation is offering basketball, soccer and volleyball for the kindergarten through sixth-grade league. There is also a pee wee league for 3-to-5-year-olds to play mini hoops and little soccer, as well as a middle school league for football and soccer, he said. 

Mackie said that the primary spot where outdoor sports take place is at the Pullman City Play Fields located on Riverview Street, with the local elementary schools being used for basketball and volleyball matches.  

Basketball and soccer are the most popular sports here in Pullman, with roughly 200 children in the basketball league and 300 children in the soccer league, he said.  

Many WSU students volunteer to coach and gain good experience for their future careers all while helping children have fun. 

There are sports management, kinesiology and elementary education majors that join the youth sports program to help out and get valuable skills, he said.  

Compared to other cities and towns, youth sports look a little different in Pullman, Mackie said. 

Since this is a university town, events typically revolve around the academic calendar. For example, spring league waits until after WSU’s spring break to start, since many children’s parents work through WSU, he said. 

Mackie said that if a person has an idea for a sport or activity that is not offered through Pullman Parks and Recreation already, they can bring it up to him and a new program can get started.  

Nicole Prah, WSU senior sports management major, said that she signed up to coach for youth sports because she took a class Mackie taught called recreation and sports. 

Prah plans to coach pee wee soccer this coming spring season, and said that she is looking forward to coaching again because it gives her a break from thinking about school and the stress that goes along with it.  

“The kids come with so much energy every practice and game, it was hard to get them to focus, but it was also really rewarding to be able to make these kids days,” Prah said. 

People in the community who would like to be a volunteer coach can register through the City of Pullman website, Mackie said.  

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