Play, Inc. director talks programs, children, future

Sheila Holley has been the executive director at Play Inc. for about four months. Holley, known better as “Coach Holley” to Play Inc. patrons, has been involved with the recreational organization for 19 years.

Q: For those who don’t know, what is Play Inc.?

A: Play Inc. is a youth and family recreational place where we have swimming, gymnastics, aerobics, for young kids up to adults. Our youngest we have is 3-year-olds. We have 3-year-old basketball and football.

Q: How many different programs are there?

A: I’ve never really sat down and counted. Six or seven at the moment plus swim lessons for youth and adults.

Q: What is your job?

A: My job is to make sure everything runs smoothly, to take care of finances and to make sure the public is informed. To make sure they are informed about what we have and to answer any of their questions and help them with any problems they might have. We have directors for every sport, and they all come under me, and you have a board of directors who are above me.

Q: What is the best part about your job?

A: The kids. I love kids, I love being around them. It think just about anybody will tell you that. There are kids in the stands, watching me ref their kids, who I used to coach and ref. I’ve watched a lot of kids grow up in Play Inc.

Q: Where is Play Inc. headed?

A: In five or 10 years I’d like it to become a big recreational program where every kid feels comfortable coming here, and where parents feel comfortable coming here. In the past, we’ve had some parents have a bitter taste in their mouths about Play Inc. We’re hoping that as the years go on, we can change that. In football this year, parents have said that they can see changes. Our biggest thing is getting the word out to people about what we’re doing.

One of our things is, before putting your money out, we’d like you to come out and try the class. See if that’s what you want to do.

Q: What is the 3-year-old basketball (league) like?

A: It’s hilarious. You have to be out there. We’d like them to bounce the ball, but some of them, they pick it up, and down the court they go. They toss up the ball, if it goes in, you see little cheers. The parents and grandparents, they have a ball.

The kids have fun. I asked one kid, “How’d your game go?”
He said, “Well they said we lost, but that’s OK coach, because we’re going to go eat pizza.”

— Compiled by Jesse Wolfersberger, CNJ staff writer