After relocating to South Florida, I was looking for ways to meet new people and get plugged into the community. Never did I image, I'd find friends by reliving my middle school gym class. But, now I find myself playing the competitive sport of kickball....
Every Thursday night, nearly 800 adults trade in their dress shoes for cleats and pack Mirasol Park off PGA Boulevard for a blast from the past.
JR Hutter, kickball player, says, "I love playing kickball because it's a real social event. We all get together, have a lot of fun, [and] get to meet new people. It brings people together."
And kickball is just like any other sport. "You get to learn all the rules about kickball. [You] try to kick it out of the park or bunt. Everybody has to run, grab the ball and just peg everybody," says player Chuck Hoeft.
Now, if you're more creative than athletic, you'd would fit right in with the Wildebeest team. They're team's motto: 65 percent effort on the field. David Etzkin describes, "Our best kickball memory was last week when we lost 15 to nothing."
So, was that a new low? "Actually, for us, it's a new high."
But the pink team wins when it comes to costumes. Every week, they have a new theme. Last week, it was Purim. This week: "Tonight's theme is cats and dogs. We're trying to raise money for Safe Harbor," says Hutter.
Safe Harbor is the Florida Gardens division's charity. When they received word the facility burnt down, they stepped up their efforts collecting cash, food, blankets and towels. Right now, they're preparing for a big night this weekend.
"We're doing a celebrity bartending event. We're incorporating it into a mid-season party which we always do anyway. It's going to be April 5 at 88 Keys from 6-8 p.m. We're doing a bachelor-bachelorette date auction with our WAKA members," says Clara Edwards.
So, if you're looking to be competitive (or not), a way to socialize, do some good in the community, even take your frustrations out, kickball might just be for you.
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