Elsmere initiates community kickball league

Patricia A. Scheyer
Patricia A. Scheyer
Patricia is a contributor to LINK nky.

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The city of Elsmere has officially sponsored a kickball league for children, and one for adults may be next.

The last game was held on Oct. 29, and signups for next season will be held in the spring of next year.

“This year we had 13 children sign up,” said Elsmere Councilmember Malcolm Daniels. “It is very informal. During the game it isn’t unusual to have parents come out on the field and help the kids, showing them how to play the game.”

One of the members of the Elsmere Kickball team, who played for the first time this October. Photo: provided | Malcolm Daniels

Daniels grew up in New Jersey and enjoyed playing soccer as a child. When he moved to Elsmere three years ago, he ran for council and won.

“One of the first things I wanted to do as a councilmember was to have a sports league of some kind, because Elsmere has nothing like this,” Daniels said. “But when I wanted to start it, COVID hit, and we had to wait until the tail end of the COVID isolation to start it.”

Other council members and the mayor were behind the idea of recreation in the city.

The city bought the Grants Mobile Home Park adjacent to Woodside Park in 2020, which they have utilized as a space to hold the games. The park has baseball fields, basketball hoops and a picnic shelter.

“We wanted to have something recreational for the kids,” said Daniels. “Having a kickball league for Elsmere has been fun for both the kids and their parents. Not only did it give everyone something to do on Saturday mornings, but it also gave the children and their parents an opportunity to play together in our first-ever sports league.”

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The blue team of the Elsmere Kickball team waits for their turn to kick. Photo: provided | Malcolm Daniels

Daniels said they didn’t have as many kids come to the first practice because the time conflicted with local football games, but more came as the practices went on. He said they used the practices to go over the basic rules, a little base running, kicking and fielding drills.

He said he thought kickball was less intense than soccer; he did some research and found out there are a lot fewer injuries with kickball.

“It seems to be less running and more fun,” he said.

Daniels has a 12-year-old son and a daughter who is almost 10 who he says both enjoy being a part of the league.

“We held the games every Saturday morning in October,” Daniels said. “We only had two teams, so there was one game, but this is just the beginning. We would like to build our teams and encourage other cities to have teams and participate with us.”

After the last game, all the participants received sweatshirts proclaiming them part of the Elsmere Kickball League.

“We believe our first season was a success and look forward to doing it again either next spring or summer,” said Daniels. “We are also thinking about putting together an adult league.”

The participation of the adults has been so good that Daniels says he wants to start an adult league next year, and he thinks there will definitely be enough people wanting to join.

Elsmere City Manager Matthew Dowling is delighted that this venture has come together.

“We have learned a lot about our community and what our residents look for in park and recreation activities over the past couple years,” Dowling stated. “One big takeaway as we transitioned out of the pandemic is the need for recreational activities for our residents. I think the kickball league has demonstrated that the focus should not just be an investment in park equipment and improved park amenities but also a stronger focus on activities for everyone in our community to enjoy. My hope is that the kickball league is just the beginning.”

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