On any given day, the Eufaula Community Center and Recreation Department see more Eufaulians than perhaps any facility in town.
The two entities work hand in hand with one another to promote recreation and healthy living, while working to enhance to community through activities and sports.
The Community Center features a fitness room with multiple weight training machines, a basketball court, indoor walking track, meeting rooms, catering kitchen, indoor pool and sauna and volleyball and racquetball courts.
“Our facilities can be used by anyone who purchases a yearly membership or a day pass,” said Jennifer Lunsford, Community Center Manager. “We are a part of Scale Back Alabama as well, so we offer discounted memberships during that time to encourage people to use the center and to lose their 10 pounds.”
One of the more popular pieces of the community center is the eight-lane competition size swimming pool. The pool is open to members and the public, and houses the Eufaula Wave Runners recreation swim team and the brand-new Eufaula High School swim team.
The aquatics program, headed by Carrie Smith, also teaches swimming lessons and lifeguarding classes throughout the year.
“Unfortunately, approximately 52 percent of Americans do not know how to swim,” said Smith. “Starting young is imperative to getting them successfully taught. We have to get them used to the water and comfortable with it. Being around the lake, it is so important for children and teenagers to know how to swim.”
The Recreation wing of the facility oversees most of youth sports in the community. Eufaula Recreation sponsors soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball/softball in the spring and summer.
The teams competing under the Eufaula banner have promoted the city and department well, capturing numerous district and state championships. The recreation department also plays host to multiple tournaments in the different sports, most recently hosting the Alabama State Tournament for two softball leagues.
In 2018, Eufaula will host the Alabama Dixie Minor Baseball State Tournament.
“The tournament seasons are what build your program,” said Scott Flowers, Athletics Coordinator. “This year we hosted two softball tournaments, and next year we have what many consider the biggest one you can host: 9 and 10-year-old baseball. For it to be here, it’s big. It will bring a lot of out-of-town people to Eufaula and that’s good for the entire community.”
Recreation Director Keef Pettis has been working and living in Eufaula for nearly a decade, and finds more and more reasons to remain every day.
He enjoys working with the business leaders and government officials on special projects, as well as interacting with the youth athletes and younger members of the community.
While not a native Eufaulian, Pettis said the town is now home.
“The friendliness of people in this town is second to none,” said Pettis. “The people here are so supportive or what we are trying to do. All you have to do is ask, and they are more than willing to help. There are plenty of places out there that have people that say, ‘This what you need to be doing.’ Eufaula is a place where people say, ‘I’ve got an idea; How can I help you get it done.’ It’s a great place to be.”
For more information on the Eufaula Recreation Department and Community Center, visit www.EufaulaRecreation.com or call 334.687.1246.