Our network

Why Community Sports Matter | Commentary

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Why Community Sports Matter
Commentary
Why Community Sports Matter

There is a lot to be said about community sports leagues. They help people connect through a common interest, they're a good way to shake off a tough workweek, and they're a fun way to exercise. Growing up, I was what you might call "sports challenged", so when a friend of mine suggested I join him for an evening of softball, you can imagine my reaction. I reluctantly agreed after we established I wouldn't "have" to play. I could just sit on the bench and enjoy the beautiful day.

It wasn't too long before I realized this league was about a lot more than just softball. As I sat on the bleachers, I noticed how happy the entire team was to be there. Upon further inquiry I was told by a teammate, "I look forward to this all week!"

I also noticed the wonderful diversity within the league. As a fellow Puerto Rican, I was delighted to see a couple of Hispanic teams in the mix. It's not every day you see people of different backgrounds engaging in a recreational activity, where our differences take a backseat to sportsmanship and fun.

As I mentioned before, my upbringing was severely lacking when it came to sports. I honestly didn't know people actually engaged in the activity outside of a school setting. I couldn't understand why all these people took time out of their week to sit on a dusty bench and bake in the sun. After a while, it all became clear to me. It's not about softball at all. It's about spending time with people, about sharing an experience, whether good or bad. Our team lost, but we laughed so much it didn't matter. I left covered from head to toe in dust, tired and smiling from ear to ear.

Since that day, I join the St. Mark's team for an evening of fun whenever I can. I seldom play, but I've become good friends with the team. I've come to understand and appreciate the role of sports within a community, and the positive effect it can have on even the most "sports challenged" of us.

 

Commentary

Downtown Businesses