Parents, coaches and some of the Santa Clarita Valley’s youngest athletes celebrated Friday as city officials announced the return of parks and youth sports.
In a news release Friday, Santa Clarita officials said registration begins March 15 for volleyball, T-ball and coach-pitch baseball leagues, with the season set to begin in April.
“We are extremely excited, and the youth sports leagues are geared and ready to begin to get back to what we normally do,” said Joe Harris, the recreation and community services supervisor for the city. “We have recreation in our blood and we just want to provide that to the community.”
Chris Padula, a Saugus parent of two athletes ages 5 and 7 years old, said that not only has he enjoyed watching his son and daughter play on co-ed basketball and T-ball teams together, he’s also enjoyed coaching them. But that has not been possible over the last year.
“They were getting really into it (team sports) and then, of course, COVID hit, and it just took a toll on them, honestly, as this thing dragged on,” said Padula. “They were meeting kids, getting their exercise in, getting normal sleep because they were wearing themselves out. All that good stuff that comes out with it, like teamwork and sharing — and then taking it away, it was terrible.”
For the past year, Padula’s two kids have been asking him when they would be able to start playing again, to which he always responded with a “soon, soon, soon.” But now, come April, it’ll be “now, now, now.”
“They’re getting their cleats ready again, their bat, their glove, and they’re just super excited,” Padula said. “Sports are just good for all kids, honestly.”
The spring outdoor volleyball league is for players ages 9 to 15, and leagues are segmented by age group. The eight-week season will run from the start of April through late May, and matches will take place at Central Park.
Registration is $89 per player for city of Santa Clarita residents and $98 per player for non-residents.
The youth sports T-ball league is for players ages 4-5 and will last from the start of April through the end of May. The coach-pitch baseball league is for players ages 6-7. Registration is $52 per player for each league, and practice and game locations will be determined when teams are selected.
Harris said all teams will be coached by city of Santa Clarita youth sports staff, and all games and leagues will need to follow Los Angeles County Department of Public Health safety orders.
For more information about these leagues and to register, visit santa-clarita.com/youthsports or contact the city’s youth sports office at 661-250-3756 or by email at [email protected].