Brantner, who is a Recreation Specialist for the Parks and Rec department, plays a role in many of the different programs that are made available to residents of the Rail City. Without her, locals may not have the luxury of enjoying the abundance of choices that they have become accustomed to.
“We couldn’t survive without her,” Sparks Recreation supervisor Tony Pehle said. “The amount of programming that the City of Sparks does and we don’t have very many staff here anymore. We’re about half of what we used to have in way of full-time employees and being able to continue to run and operate and put on the additional programming that we do without people like Cindy, we just wouldn’t be able to do it.
“Cindy’s role here has many facets to it. It’s a never-ending list of the duties she has to take care of and it starts from the fliers to make out to the schools to let the kids and parents know that we have the programs to over to registration and setting up the teams and coaches and league officials.”
Brantner has a hand in a number of the Sparks Parks and Rec’s programs. Working from the Alf Sorenson Community Center, she supervises the front desk and two preschools, as well as running numerous youth sports. Though some may become engulfed with the amount of work Brantner takes on, she enjoys it all.
“I like being around the kids,” Brantner said. “They’re just so full of life and just watching them when they’re out there being a part of the team and participating, I just enjoy being around that. I like it because I’m learning more about the different sports that go on in the city. I just think the more knowledge that I have, the better employee that’ll be. I just like to keep learning so that things don’t get boring.”
Brantner has continued to add to her duties, most recently adding to her plate the task of overseeing the Parks and Rec youth basketball program, which is the largest youth program for the department with 320 kids.
“This will be my first year of taking over the youth basketball league. I’m really excited about taking it over but a little nervous about doing it for the first time,” Brantner said. “It’s a big program but I think once I get into it, I think it’ll be a lot of fun to do something a little different. I’m mostly excited about trying to improve the program. I’ve been working with the Reno Bighorns on possibly sponsorship. It’s just something different for me and it’s a larger program that I’m excited about taking on and I’ll get more knowledge about different things in the city.”
For Brantner, one of the main reasons she is so dedicated to giving Sparks excellent programs to participate in is because of the role of sports in her own life. Having played softball since she was 4 years old up until two years ago and having been an assistant coach at Sparks High from 1999-2001, athletics have always been a large part of Brantner’s life.
“For me it was just about giving back. I had been a part of it and I wanted to give back to that through the things I had learned and gained. I just think it’s important for kids to get out and participate in team sports,” she said. “I just think recreation is a huge part of not only a child’s life, but an adult’s as well and playing sports my whole life, it was a good thing for me.
“The one thing I think it gives you is the more active you are the healthier are. I think being a part of team sports my whole life, it has made me better in the job that I have and working with others. Sports just help you throughout your life to participate as a team, whether that is on a field or court or in an office. You have to do the same types of things at work as well.”
With that passion for sports and the impact that is has, Brantner is the perfect person for the job.
“Cindy is a very outgoing person and she cares about what she does,” Pehle said. “She cares about the quality of what she’s doing and she cares about people and I think that’s a big portion of what’s made her successful here. She helps me out so much and makes sure everything clicks for the various programs. She just cares about what she’s doing and cares about the people that are involved.”
As long as the City of Sparks has people like Brantner in its corner, residents will continue to benefit from top notch programming.
“Every day is overwhelming because we have so much to do, but for the most part I really love my job,” Brantner said. “Even though it’s overwhelming, I don’t mind it. I know that a lot of people don’t really love what they do, but I can truly say that I do. Even though every day is tough, that’s a part of what makes it exciting. I just want to provide good quality sports programs that everybody can enjoy.”