Support Blacksburg Youth Athletics. Either provide more fields or light up the ones we have (at Kipps and Blacksburg High School).
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The youth of Blacksburg are often constrained by a lack of fields for their youth athletics including: Baseball, Softball, Soccer, Football, and Lacrosse. The local youth athletic programs currently make the most of what is available, but due to supply and demand, more fields are needed. If more fields are not feasible at the present time; then the current fields need to be lighted in order to allow for multiple practice times and game time slots. The ability to play games and/or practice after dark would do a lot to help mediate the problem. The current youth fields are primarily located at the Kipps Elementary School/Blacksburg Middle School Complex (aerial picture above from google earth), Prices Fork Elementary School, Blacksburg High School, and the Old Blacksburg High School right across the Blacksburg Recreation Center (where the Jaycee field is lit for adult softball leagues Monday through Fridays in during the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons).
Currently, Blacksburg is the only community within the New River Valley (including Christiansburg, Radford, Pulaski, and Giles) that does not have any lighted youth athletic fields. Christiansburg now has six lit baseball/softball fields including the three at Harkrader, two at Kiwanis Park, and one at Falling Branch Elementary School. Radford has four lit baseball/softball fields including two at Veterans Park, one at the New River Sports Complex, and one at Hodge Field. Pulaski has five lit fields at Randolph Park and Dublin Middle School. Finally, Giles County has two lit fields at Pearisburg Community Center and at Pembroke Park and Montgomery County has a lit field at Motor Mile Park just outside of Radford, VA. That is eighteen total lighted fields for youth baseball/softball throughout the NRV, and zero within the Town of Blacksburg!
My children have been a product of the local athletic system, participating in Blacksburg Dixie Softball, Blacksburg Dixie Baseball, NRUSA Soccer Club, Blacksburg Flag Football, as well as Blacksburg/Montgomery County Youth Recreational Basketball leagues over the past 13 years. They always look forward to playing evening 'away games' in the other NRV localities including all of the fields listed above. Why? Because they are night games and the kids get to play under the lights. It's a shame that this opportunity cannot be afforded to them, not only for its uniqueness; but also for the practicality and efficiency that it would provide all of the local athletic league administrators to be able to get more 'field time' for both practice and play.
For Blacksburg Recreational Softball, the program has grown from fielding two or three teams (30 players) a season from 2010-2012, to four teams (50 players) from 2013-15 to six teams the past two Spring seasons 2016-17 (70 players). The Blacksburg Softball franchise is now the largest in the NRV. The success of the franchise has created challenges. Specifically, since there is only one field dedicated at Kipps for girls’ softball; we are now struggling to find the field space needed for both practices and games. Early spring and fall seasons are problematic for two games/events to be held the same evening. There is a need for additional field space for both practices and games not only for softball, but for baseball and soccer too.
Support the community and our children. Let the kids play and experience all that organized sports has to offer. They are our future and deserve much better from a community as blessed, talented and affluent as ours is in Blacksburg.
If you have any questions or would like to find out how you can help too, please contact Blacksburg Softball Association at BlacksburgSoftball@gmail.com.
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