City hires new chief of recreation

June 27, 1994|By Karen Zeiler | Karen Zeiler,Contributing Writer

For the past seven years, Ronald J. Schroers has been Hampstead's "sports authority." Friday, he'll bring his expertise to the city of Westminster.

The 28-year-old program director of the Four Seasons Sports Complex and Fitness Center in Hampstead has been named recreation and activities supervisor for the Department of Planning and Public Works.

Mr. Schroers succeeds Carol A. Donovan, who spent 10 years organizing and implementing the city's recreation programs. She announced her resignation in May.

"He is a perfect fit for the job," said Thomas B. Beyard, the city's public works director, who screened 54 applicants. "He is a very enthusiastic individual and an innovator."

Mr. Beyard said Mr. Schroers' experience developing and implementing athletic programs will serve him well in Westminster.

"I'm really excited to get started developing programs for the city," Mr. Schroers said last week.

"Carol Donovan has done a great job. My job will be to make sure all her programs are kept in place and properly run."

Mr. Schroers brings formal training and hands-on experience. The Manchester native and 1983 graduate of North Carroll High has a recreational programming degree from Carroll Community College.

He has watched Four Seasons grow from three staff members in 1987 to more than 30 full- and part-time employees and has been actively involved in the promotion and marketing of the facility.

For as long as he can remember, Mr. Schroers said, he has had a love for sports. At the age of 11, he became a volunteer coach for Manchester's recreation council, where he was active for many years.

While a student at Carroll Community College, he spent three summers at Camp Waziyatah in Harrison, Maine, directing youth counselors.

He also worked in the college's leisure studies office, organizing advisory board meetings, tracking alumni association records and acting as a liaison between students and teachers.

He was elected Student Council vice president and served as president of the college's recreation society.

Four Seasons, which opened as the Fountain Hill Tennis Club in 1986, is owned by Mel Newman and Kevin Bidelspach. It originally consisted of six indoor and seven outdoor tennis courts and had a small staff of aerobics and fitness instructors.

"In 1987 we eliminated two tennis courts and built an indoor arena for soccer and softball," Mr. Schroers said. Four indoor batting cages also were added.

Two years ago, the remaining four indoor tennis courts were removed and two artificial turf fields were installed to accommodate a wider variety of team sports, including lacrosse, field hockey, indoor baseball and soccer.

"I've promoted Four Seasons through special events, sports leagues, summer camps, after-prom parties and Project Graduation," Mr. Schroers said.

"I was a one-man show," he says. "When you enjoy what you do, it doesn't matter how much time you put into it."

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