New recreation coordinator plans to revive program
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 by Matthew Girard
New Belton Parks and Recreation Department Recreation Coordinator Matthew Bates is looking to give the residents of Belton what they want.
"I think the recreation program hasn't quite grown the way they wanted," said Bates, who started at the department this month. "I'm going out into the community, meeting people and trying to pick their brain to what is wanted and needed here."
Originally from Newcastle, England, Bates recently graduated from San Angelo State University with a degree in Sports Fitness and Leisure and was involved with the university's recreation program and the men's basketball team.
Prior to attending San Angelo, Bates played basketball at McMurry University and Hardin-Simmons University.
"I was 18 years old and I thought I was going to the NBA, but I got the opportunity to play at McMurry University," Bates said. "Later, I started to mature and realize that Division III is for the love of the game."
Bates said England doesn't have much of a recreation program in its cities, but he is excited about the opportunity to kick start Belton's.
Bates is married to his wife Heather and they have a 2-year-old named Matthew Jr.
For the next few months, Bates will be gathering information from citizens and others on what programs will fit best in Belton.
For more information about the Belton Parks and Recreation department and its programs, contact Matthew Bates at (254) 933-5861.