The Riverview Softball League (RSL) started in January 2021 with a total of 40 participating players. Since then, the nonprofit league has grown to 13 co-ed teams and includes 150 men and women who play every Sunday from 4-8 p.m. at Progress Village Park during the fall and spring seasons. The players range in age from 18 to 60 and hail from cities such as Riverview, Apollo Beach, Sun City Center and Gibsonton.
The minority-owned nonprofit has partnered with ECHO of Brandon to help needy families in the Tampa area. During this season, the RSL is sponsoring the Soles 4 Souls ECHO scheme, where it will collect new and gently used shoes for men, women and children every Sunday until June 26.
Most RSL teams are sponsored by local businesses, such as Play It Again Sports, Pistolese’s Pizzeria, Edward Jones, Four Stacks Brewing Company, D-Bat at Ruskin, Fitlife and Cigar City Brewing, to name a few. some. It also has different local food trucks that come every Sunday to deliver food.
“We are a close-knit family,” said RSL vice-president Kym Graves-Kalu. “We like to keep all of our operations, dollars and services in the South Hillsborough County area.”
Graves-Kalu and RSL President Corey Manley have been playing co-ed softball for a long time and felt there was a need for the league in the community as there was none in nearby areas. She said all revenue the organization gets, such as sponsorships, donations and league fees, goes back into the league for grounds maintenance, rentals and umpires. The league is recreational and family friendly.
“Our league has brought neighbors and teammates together where they’re not just a softball team, but they’re friends and they commune outside of softball and they do other things together,” Manley said. “It really created camaraderie not just between teammates, but the league as a whole. I think our league has done a really good job of bringing communities together. »
Graves-Kalu, Manley and the rest of the league are aiming to grow even further. They recently formed a men’s league with six teams.
Registration and partnership applications can be found on the league’s website at https://riverviewsoftballleague.com or you can email the RSL at [email protected]