City of Gulfport announces formation of Youth Sports Commission, following football game brawl

Following the spectator brawl, city leaders have been investigating what went wrong and how to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 2:51 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Friday morning, the City of Gulfport announced the formation of a youth sports commission, tasked with reviewing the city’s youth sports programs.

This comes after a large brawl broke out at a youth football game at Milner Stadium just two weeks ago on November 3.

In a press release, the city said the commission will be charged with providing recommendations to improve the sports offerings for the city’s youth.

The committee, which will be led by retired Gulfport athletic director Chairman Bryan Caldwell, will work closely with the Department of Leisure Services and city administration. The committee includes Brittany Reese, Craig Peterson and Shaheed Ali.

“Their combined expertise and proven commitment to youth sports will be invaluable in this endeavor,” the press release read. “The mayor’s vision extends beyond the immediate incident, aiming to transform this committee into a permanent Gulfport Youth Sports Commission. This Commission will play a crucial role in assessing and revitalizing youth sports activities managed by the city. This initiative emphasizes the city’s commitment to creating a safe, positive, and nurturing environment for its young athletes.”

According to the city, key areas of focus for the commission will be:

  • Codes of Conduct (Coaches, managers, parents, officials, referees, and fans)
  • Coaches Certification and Training programs.
  • Exploring affiliations with schools.
  • Assessing Draft Mix and Regional/Geographic Reach of sports programs.
  • Strategies for the Separation of Opposing Teams & Support Groups.
  • Encouraging constructive Parental Involvement.
  • Establishing effective Sanctions.
  • Evaluating the viability of leagues and sports activities.

“The city acknowledges the value and importance of community engagement in this process and is confident that the collective efforts will lead to significant improvements and growth in the youth sports programs,” the press release read. “The City of Gulfport is excited to see what this community partnership will bring to the future of youth sports for our children and the community.”

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