By Selina Thomas
For The Signal
Passing the first large field at Central Park, on a bright Sunday in Santa Clarita, you can’t miss a unique crowd of athletes — a gathering of diverse athletes made up of women, men, young and recently retired huddled to play co-ed flag football will stop most in their tracks.
Many can remember flag football games from high school, which was traditionally during Sadie Hawkins week. It was the one week a year when girls were the football players and asked the boys to the dance.
In the Prime Time Sports League, ALL are welcome. Soon-to-be parents Lloyd and Shannon Nevius, who are expecting their first baby, found a way to unite multi-generational teams. They did so all while incorporating diversity and inclusion rules within the game.
The rules of engagement and equity include higher points for females who score touchdowns and incentives for players to be mindful of their counterparts and their unique attributes.
An HR professional by day, Shannon Nevius applied her professional and maternal instincts to this unique league, all while continuing to feed her need to remain fit and athletic during pregnancy. With a shared desire to extend their love of sports to others, this couple united families within their community to think outside of the box and to play equitably.
Even through COVID-19, the Neviuses found a way to continue to connect their shuttered athletes and their families by giving them updates and something to look forward to once the pandemic was over. They remained vigilant in pursuit of obtaining the required permits to play in the park. With a less than 1% chance to receive a field permit from the city, they never gave up.
Prime Time Sports League was the last to obtain their field permits and they are the first of their kind to create such a unique opportunity to bring the community together.
In speaking with the players and their families, many said they use the league and the games as a chance to decompress from being isolated. The renewed perspective for some, after being separated for almost two years, created a newfound hope and energy of inclusivity within the community.
For the founders, athletes and families of this league, it is Prime Time to get back to Sundays in the park.
For more information on the Prime Time Sports league, their players and founders you can check out their podcast segment next week on “The Signal on the Street with Selina,” as well as on their linktree page linktr.ee/primetimesportsleague.