Rec center director discusses new plans

Argen Duncan

New Portales Recreation Center director Jodi Kibbe is aiming to make the facility more a part of the community.

Kibbe started the job Jan. 3, and said it’s going well.

“It’s busy. The staff that works here is really great,” Kibbe said, adding the other center employees helped her get to know the children and get started.

“I’m really enjoying it so far,” she said. “We have a lot of ideas that we want for the center, so I’m excited to get some things started and see the outcome of it all.”


Kibbe said she and other leaders want to widen the range of people they serve to include babies, teenagers and senior citizens. She and city Community Affairs Coordinator Nicole Thornton would like to have activity at the center whenever it’s open.

“We want to be a part of the community and the community has to be a part of us,” Kibbe said.

In five years, Kibbe said, she would like to see the center have a weight room to attract more male members, a time set aside for teenagers to use the facility and higher membership numbers.

Why apply?

Kibbe said she applied for the director position because it seemed like everything she wanted to do.

“I really enjoy fitness, exercise, as well as kids,” she said.

Also, her parents and brother live in Portales, and she’s near her sister’s family in Ruidoso.

History in sports

Kibbe said she began playing basketball in second grade. She also became a volleyball player.

In school, Kibbe participated in sports in high school in Des Moines, and in intramurals at Eastern New Mexico University. As an undergraduate and graduate student, she worked in the Intramural and Recreation Department at ENMU.

Kibbe said she likes the competitiveness of sports.

“I think sports are fun,” she said. “I think they’re a great way to interact with people.”

Also, sports are good exercise, and any leisure activity is good for health, Kibbe continued.