SPORTS, Grades 3–6, Honorable Mention
In the little town of Niskayuna, there are girls waiting for the opportunity to play sports and get stronger.
My family is very involved in one of these sports: softball.
A few months ago, the Niskayuna Girls’ Softball League made a plan. The plan was to renovate the park where we play, River Road Park. We wanted to see the fields in better shape, we wanted lights, concessions and drainage, but there was a catch.
The softball program didn’t have enough money. So we went straight to the town and tried to get their approval. With their approval, and help from New York State Assemblyman Phil Steck, they would be giving us enough money to start “Phase 1” of the project.
Phase one was to get the proper drainage and three new fields. Once we got that money, all we had to do was get approval from the Niskayuna Town Board. So one night, after softball practice, my Dad brought us all over to the Town Hall to see if we would get the vote for approval. We walked in and I was amazed to see how many people were there, most of them were just there to support the Niskayuna Girls' Softball League!
My family and I all wore shirts with Niskayuna Softball logos on them. We didn’t have to wait long before they started voting.
Thankfully, we got the vote, and all the people on the board said something about how happy they were to help nurture the girls love for softball. We went home that night happier than the night before, although we might have only gotten a bit of what we needed, it’s a great start.
I started playing softball at a second-grade summer camp. But that summer camp changed everything. I heard about the recreational softball teams, and I convinced my parents to let me sign up.
From there, everything just sort of clicked for me. And here I am, in sixth grade, still loving softball. This sport has done so much for me in so many ways. It helped me to meet my best friends, it helped me exercise, it still helps me have more fun.
Sometimes, if I come home from school after having a really long day, I will just go outside and throw the ball into a net. It helps me relax a little. Then I will do my homework, get ready for a game, and go have more fun with my friends out on the field.
Softball has really changed my life. I hope it continues to change others' lives in the near future. I also hope that other sports will follow close behind softball. I hope they will reach out and try to improve things for the kids, and I hope that they succeed. My name is Ella Rodgers, and this is how softball changed my life.