For the past 31 years, Rick Del Bosque has been serving as the executive director of the Alice Boys and Girls Club. In those 31 years, Del Bosque has seen an increase in the amount of participants in his sports programs that serve the Alice community and surrounding areas. One program in particular is the Little Dribblers Basketball League.
“When we started Little Dribblers, we had 80 kids and have been averaging 850 kids in the last three or four years,” Del Bosque said. “This year we just cleared 1,000.”
According to Del Bosque, 500 of those kids are from Alice and the other 500 are from outlying areas including San Diego, Freer, Falfurrias, Premont, Bishop, Agua Dulce and even Hebbronville.
“This year what really helped us was adding Hebbronville,” Del Bosque said. “That’s quite a distance coming to Alice and they have seven teams coming from there.”
“I think the parents know there is no personal programs out there for them so they get involved over here.”
Aside from Little Dribblers, the Alice Boys and Girls Club offers sports programs year round and rely on their volunteers to help with these programs by coaching teams among other things.
“Our coaches are volunteers. We’re looking at over 200 volunteers,” Del Bosque said. “These programs have been in existence for quite some time. I’ve been doing this for 31 years and what I have seen in those 31 years is the numbers have either stayed the same or have increased.”
Being able to get the parents actively involved is key to getting their children out and being active, according to Del Bosque.
“There might be some kids that might be playing video games and not going to the parks or fields, but we have several parents that are making sure their kids stay in shape and participating,” Del Bosque said.
Other sports throughout the year include t-ball, soccer and softball to name a few but the programs don’t just stop at sports. They also offer after school programs as well.
“We average about 150 kids per day,” Del Bosque said. “Fridays are our free days but Mondays through Thursdays they work on a curriculum.”
The kids are offered homework help, arts and crafts and even a tech lab. Kids at the after school programs range from five to 18 years old but the majority of the kids are between seven and 10.
For more information on the Alice Boys and Girls Club programs and sports, visit their website at bgcalice.org.