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Nederland, A.S.K. agree to 25-year lease

NEDERLAND — Adaptive Sports for Kids is here to stay.

The city of Nederland voted unanimously Monday to enter into a 25-year lease with A.S.K. for its use of sports facilities at Doornbos Park at no cost to the organization. A.S.K., founded in December 2011, gives children and adults with special needs a place to play a wide range of sports without paying a fee.

“We now have a 25-year agreement so my families know for sure they now have a place to play for 25 years,” A.S.K. co-founder and President Scott Ferguson said. “Now, we’ve got to start the grant process and start getting bids on the field, because we want an AstroTurf field and a covered area for the kids to get out of the sun and get in some shade.”

Ferguson hopes to turn each outdoor sports field into an AstroTurf surface for maintenance and drainage reasons.

“If we’re outside and it’s not covered and it rains, we’re done,” Ferguson said. “We can’t participate. But if we have AstroTurf and you get 6 inches of rain, 30 minutes later you’re playing, so you don’t have the dirt with the wheelchairs and everything else.”

Monday’s unanimous approval by the city is another milestone for the growing 501(c)(3) organization, which has always utilized Doornbos Park for all activities except cheer, which is practiced at Full FX Gymnastics in Port Arthur.

Ferguson said between 450 and 465 children and adults from Jefferson County and surrounding areas take part in A.S.K. Much of its growth this year is reflected in baseball and soccer, he added.

This year’s opening day was held for the first time at Lamar University’s baseball venue, Vincent-Beck Stadium, due to A.S.K.’s growth.

“We’ve never seen a decrease,” he said. “We see kids come and go, but we always have growth. We’ll continually get bigger every year.”

Nederland’s parks and recreation advisory board approved the measure July 20 before sending it to the council. City manager Chris Duque said the lease ultimately will be a “win-win” for citizens and A.S.K.

“They’re going to use their own funds to make these improvements at the main park in our community,” he said. “No tax dollars are being spent for these improvements. That’s another positive there.”

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Charity Golf Tournament in June at Brentwood Country Club in Beaumont raised $13,500 for A.S.K.

To Ferguson, the growth of his organization — co-founded by Allen Nation and Kerri May — from not even owning a ball almost five years ago, is “pretty mindblowing.” Duque believes the lease is another way to put smiles on the faces of A.S.K. participants.

“We needed to ensure our parents and sponsors and everybody that’s involved that this is where we are to stay and this is where we’re going to be, in five years, 10 years … I wanted to show 25,” Ferguson said.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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