In my 30-year career as a Recreation Supervisor, I have had wonderful opportunities to provide recreational experiences for people of all ages, abilities and aptitudes.
These photos were taken three years ago on the second weekend of March at the Sacramento Softball Complex. The complex holds four softball diamonds, a sports cafe, staff offices and four lighted, sand volleyball courts. There are only two four-court sand volleyball courts in the entire Sacramento area.
A year prior, while on the Sacramento State University campus, I was introduced to the women’s volleyball coach. NCAA sand volleyball was starting up the next year and there were no sand courts at the university. He asked if the team could practice on the complex’s courts and hold a few weekend tournaments there.
Of course, my staff and I saw this as an amazing opportunity to bring another women’s sport to our facility (the US women’s Olympic softball team had played some exhibition games there in the past). With the likes of Stanford University, St. Mary’s College, Cal Berkeley, and Cal-Poly coming to the sports complex for the tournaments, this would bring notoriety to the facility and to Sacramento area sports. We worked out a deal and the Sacramento Softball Complex became the first home to the Sacramento State women’s NCAA sand volleyball league!
Normally, one would see men’s softball tournaments or boy’s baseball games on most weekends–a typical sight at this facility. The sports complex is centrally situated near two freeways and considered a prime location and destination for weekend tournament play. Male athletes and their families travel from all over Northern California and Nevada (and beyond) to play here.
On this particular day, a girls’ softball tournament was being held. Also scheduled was the first weekend of the NCAA women’s sand volleyball tournament.
That weekend, as we strolled through the complex munching on corn dogs, I couldn’t help but breathe in the fair-like atmosphere. There was a warm, gentle breeze fluttering the colorful new flags we installed near the entrance. Sports spectators were milling about and cheering on their favorite female athletes.
As I stopped to watch the women’s volleyball match, after watching the young girls play softball, I realized something.
The complex was filled with WOMEN athletes playing sports! Not only were young girls playing softball on all four fields, the volleyball courts were full of collegiate women athletes. All these people were here for one reason, to celebrate women’s sports!
As a woman, I felt a certain pride that I could foster a competitive playground for female athletes. This was a proud moment for me; one that I will never forget!