“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in,”
– Author Unknown.
Story by CINDY
Time is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. Recreation Departments across the country are dedicated to this theory and are intended for young children to learn sports, rules and boundaries, comradery, and most important, to have fun. The successful facilities are
fueled by volunteers, those special individuals that want to make a difference in their community.
Meet long time Pooler resident Marcel Cooper; he has been a coach at the Pooler Recreation and his given his time for an astonishing 12 years.
Marcel has lived in the Pooler community for 15 years and has proudly shared, “My amazing wife, Tonice and I have been married for 22 years. We have four beautiful children- Maiya 20 years old, Marcel, Jr. 18 years old and twins, Taylor and Tyler 13 years old.
He began coaching at the Rec Department when his oldest daughter, Maiya was only seven years old and took an interest in basketball. Marcel decided to help coach his daughter’s team, to not only spend more time with her, but to mentor other children as well. “As a coach, I take pride in teaching about character traits to the children, such as humility, good sportsmanship, perseverance, and discipline,” he enlightened. The rules of the games are something the children will remember as they play, however, the life lessons that are absorbed during the coaching will last a lifetime and mold them into upstanding citizens of the community.
Basketball is not the only area Marcel Cooper enjoys to coach. As a child, he played football, basketball and baseball, but quickly learned that he loved the first two more than baseball. He is an avid football coach as well. Coach Cooper’s dedication does not stop at just season practices and games, “Last summer was the inaugural football camp that I hosted with the Rec dept. The camp allows me to give each child more individualized guidance to strengthen and enhance their abilities. Cooper’s Sports and Enrichment Camp will be back Summer 2017,” he proudly said.
The love of teaching and volunteering came honestly to Marcel. “My inspiration comes from my father. He was very involved with his children, my siblings and myself, playing sports,” the coach reminisced. “My dad was very involved and was a part of the coaching staff when I played rec ball. I love being my children’s biggest supporter and coach. I enjoy teaching all the children and watching their growth as they learn the game”.
After twelve years of coaching ages 6-13 years old in basketball and football and a consistent dedication, great memories are inevitable. “My favorite memories are surrounding the championship wins and seeing the excitement on the children’s faces,” he admits.
Outside of his time spent at the Pooler Recreation Department, Marcel Cooper is an independent truck driver and spends most of his time with his loving family. “I love all things sports, so I’m either watching a game at home or in person at a sporting venue,” the sport fanatic declared.
With his youngest children, twins Taylor and Tyler, moving up to middle school sports, Marcel will be following them in their new endeavor.
The Pooler Recreation Department strives to uphold their mission statement:
To provide the best quality program and activities for the community that are safe, competitive, educational and that create, promote, and enhance a healthy lifestyle, as well as encouraging good sportsmanship, teamwork and fair play.
They offer numerous activities for their community to participate. Children as young as three years old through teens are able to partake. The Pooler Rec has gymnastics, volleyball, and of course the classic sports: baseball, softball, tball, and football to name a few. Many sports are seasonal, parents can check out their website: poolerrec.com for more information on what they offer and their registration deadlines and requirements. Also in the spring, Cooper’s Sports and Enrichment Camp information will be available for all the football players.