Grant Highlight: Seward Sports Association Summer Softball League Program

The Seward Sports Association is a new organization founded by members of the Seward community who are dedicated to increasing the number of opportunities for physical and social well-being available in Seward.

In this inaugural year, they created two recreational slow pitch softball leagues. The first league was for advanced players with experience, and the second league for new or less experienced players who were interested in learning how to play the game and the rule set all while having fun, staying active, and joining a community activity.

In April, the Seward Sports Association was awarded a $1,000 mini-grant from the Seward Community Foundation to purchase softballs and pitching masks.

According to Eric Olsen, the association’s president, the new leagues went extremely well.  He said, “We ended up with 12 teams in the two leagues combined, each team consisting of somewhere between 15-25 players, for a total of 231 players total.”  The leagues ran Monday and Tuesday nights all summer, from May 28th – August 7th, for a total of 11 weeks and included the end of season tournaments for each league.

The Seward Sports Association was able to provide every team two games per week for a total of 20 games each, which was much more than previous leagues. They were also able to provide paid, registered umpires for every game in both leagues, while increasing the pool of registered umpires from 1-2 up to 14.  Olsen added, “So far we’ve had pretty much nothing but ecstatic feedback from players and team managers, along with some great suggestions for future years.”

Funding for this grant came from the Seward Community Foundation’s Unrestricted Fund.