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Share your skills and adoration of sports with these local volunteer opportunities

Volunteer coaching opportunities in youth soccer, and many other sports, abound. File photo

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Aside from watching kitten videos on YouTube and smelling the sweet scent of a newborn baby, volunteering is the best source of the warm n' fuzzies. It feels good to invest your time helping others, even more so if you can find a way to contribute to a good cause while also doing something you love. If sports is your bag, we've got a list of sporty volunteer opportunities for all seasons.

There are an abundance of youth coaching opportunities in the South Sound. Whatever your preferred sport, you can aid the littles of all age brackets in honing their athletic prowess while also teaching them the important values of sportsmanship. Here are a few options:

Pierce County Parks and Recreation calls for coaches and assistant coaches in the Lakewood area for youth sports programs. Indoor and outdoor soccer, basketball, T-ball and coach pitch for ages 4 to 10 years are all available throughout the year. Contact the Pierce County Parks and Recreation office, 9112 Lakewood Dr. SW, Lakewood, or connect with Recreation Supervisor Meredith Smith at 253.798.4091.

Both the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs have several locales throughout the South Sound and boast loads of opportunities to teach courses and coach sports teams. Both organizations also have a reputation for providing much-needed services for youth and underprivileged members of the community. Needs may vary, so check with your neighborhood YMCA or Boys and Girls Club for details or visit SouthSoundYMCA.org or BGCA.org to find out more.

The First Tee is a youth development program that uses golf as a guide to reinforce values like "integrity, respect and perseverance." In this region, it hosts programs at 11 different locations including Chambers Bay, Lake Spanaway, Madrona Links and Tumwater Valley.  Though the fall course is already underway, it's worth checking out details at TheFirstTeeSouthPugetSound.org.

Though it has loads of opportunities to coach youth, MetroParks also facilitates a Special Olympics sports and fitness program. Volunteers for this program can be as young as 11 years old for some positions, and it provides opportunities to engage with and offer encouraging support to community members with physical and social delays. Basketball season is almost upon us, beginning in November, but yearlong opportunities include track and field, aquatics, golf, footgolf, softball and bowling. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer coach, call 253.404.3951 or email Kodi at KDoty@TacomaParks.com.

In lieu of your time and skills, sometimes simply making a donation can make a big difference. If you're short on time but looking to support a local sports program, here are a couple to consider (as well as many listed above):

If tossing the ‘ole pigskin is your jam, check out the South Kitsap Pee Wees Association at SKPeeWees.org and help get those tiny tikes ready for the big game as they grow.

Finally, for 75 years the Tacoma Athletic Club has provided support for amateur sports of all levels including high schools, colleges and other sports organizations. It has annual membership dues, or you can be a one-time donor on any level. See more at TacomaAthletic.com.

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