Harrowgate Athletics faces rough road ahead

The Harrowgate Athletic Association and its new leadership needs your help.

New president Gina Nixon and new director Shane Mobley took the reins of the program back in January, and are faced with a daunting task of pulling an organization out of the red, a place where many organizations have been during the recent economic downtimes. That, coupled with several other issues has the organization on a timetable to get donations, or this upcoming season could be it’s last of operation.

“We went from one of the strongest organizations of its kind to being on the verge of breaking,” said Nixon. “We want to get this back on track for the children, it’s all about giving them a structured activity that can guide them through childhood.”

According to Nixon, the organization which historically has provided youth an opportunity to participate in cheerleading, fall baseball, football and softball has dealt with everything from mismanagement of funds by previous leadership, a decline in donations and volunteer support and a need for coaches and players.

“We want the community to know that we are under new leadership,” said Nixon. “We are ready to work to repair this program which has served hundreds of area children for over 20 years.”

Nixon also said a restructuring of the county by the district may have caused the sharp decline in participants, as she pointed out neighborhoods like Tinsberry in the southern end of the county were placed under the jurisdiction of Marguerite Christian. Nixon also pointed that as a non-profit organization, much of the money made is paid towards fees that Chesterfield County imposes on such organizations, leaving very little for improvements. Nixon also stated that after a fundraising push in late 2010, the organization hasn’t received a donation since.

“If we cannot pull this organization out of the hole,” said Nixon. “The 2013 season will not happen, and we want to prevent this at all costs.”

There are multiple improvements that could be made- including most urgently a helmet reconditioning that is due after this season is over, renovations to buildings that haven’t been touched since they were built 20 years ago, and other new equipment.

The association also urgently needs volunteers and coaches. According to Nixon right now there are nine committed volunteers to the organization.

“We really need coaches and dependable volunteers,” said Nixon. “Anything will help to get this back on track.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation or wanting to get involved can make a check payable to Harrowgate Athletic Association, 16114 Pauline Avenue, Chester VA, 23831. For any inquiries on volunteering or coaching please contact Nixon directly at 804-520-2858 or 804-919-1031.

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