Moss Point provides sports activities to reduce crime, obesity

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point is hoping some new sports and recreational activities will help the community tackle crime and obesity. Thursday, city and county leaders cut the ribbon for new basketball and tennis courts as part of the Sue Ellen Gym expansion project. It's another step to improve the quality of life in the city.

Devin Booker loves to play basketball, and his friend Kaleb Smith has that same passion for tennis. The teens can now shoot hoops and play doubles tennis on the new courts on Sue Ellen's Campus.

"I don't know of that many tennis courts in Moss Point area, but now I can come and play anytime," Smith said.

Jackson County supervisors spent thousands of dollars to help Moss Point provide more fun-filled, sports activities for residents.

"We think nothing to build facilities to incarcerate young men and women, adults," Harris said. "But we don't spend the same amount of effort and resources to do a proactive effort, and this is a proactive thing to keep kids out of trouble."

The teenagers here couldn't agree more.

"Several friends of mine, they have too much time on their hands, and before you know it, they are in trouble, or have to run away from the law," Smith said.

"It just keeps all the kids out of trouble, doing the wrong thing for instance drugs," Booker said. "I am very excited; it gives me something to do, also."

As a bonus, the county also refurbished this half mile walking track. Moss Point Mayor Aneice Liddell said it's another valuable tool to help combat fat in the community.

"That should help you exert energy and lose pounds. This is a step in the right direction," Mayor Liddell said.

County and city leaders said they're brainstorming more ways to improve the quality of life here.

"One of the major issues is finding a way to get a swimming pool," Harris said. "There is a great need because if you talk to kids 18 to 21 years of age in the Moss Point area. I would say in the high 90 percent have no idea how to swim."

These teenagers said any upgrades that will keep them active and out of trouble sounds good to them. Supervisor Harris said the county spent $300,000 on the courts and upgrades to the campus.

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