Little League's Urban Initiative Jamborees Begin with Event in California
After a successful first year of hosting state jamborees, Little League’s Urban Initiative has almost doubled the number of events this spring, hosting seven jamborees. The first event, the Southern California Jamboree, will take place April 29-May 1 in Los Angeles.
“Bringing an Urban Initiative Jamboree event to Southern California was an easy choice,” Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, said. “Los Angeles, along with Harlem (N.Y.), was one of the first two cities in the Urban Initiative program. It’s exciting for the teams from Los Angeles to play the teams from San Diego; teams from Long Beach to play teams from San Bernardino, along with the other matchups. The best aspect of this event is the impact it can have on so many of the lives of these kids, both on and off the field.
“The events are beneficial to the leagues involved, because the jamborees better serve the Urban Initiative leagues on a state-wide basis by giving local league members, coaches and players a greater chance to interact with other leagues similar to theirs.”
The Little League Urban Initiative was established in 1999 to provide opportunities for communities in metropolitan areas to reap the benefits of having Little League in their neighborhoods.
The first Urban Initiative Jamboree this year is hosted by Districts 25 and 37 in California and will feature teams from 14 leagues and more than 175 players (the participating leagues are listed at the end of the release). Games will be played on fields at Culver Marina Little League, Wrigley Little League and Holly Park Little League.
The fields at Culver Marina Little League and Wrigley Little League were renovated as part of the Dodgers Dream Foundation’s signature initiative, Dodger Dreamfields. The Dodgers have also supplied tickets for the players and coaches participating in the jamboree to attend their game Saturday night at Dodger Stadium against the San Diego Padres.
Jamboree games on Friday (April 29) will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a pair of games at 8 p.m., concluding competition on the first day. The following day, games begin at 9:30 a.m., concluding with two games that start at 2 p.m. The semifinal games will be played at 10 a.m. on Sunday, at Culver Marina Little League with the championship game to follow at 1 p.m.
“We’ve always received great volunteer support and league participation in the Southern California area, and this jamboree is no exception,” Mr. Ervin said. “We have volunteers coming from various Little League districts to help with the jamboree. Everyone wants to make this a great experience for the teams participating.
“The Los Angeles Dodgers are helping us enhance the event experience for the kids, and their generosity and continued support of Little League is amazing to me,” Mr. Ervin said. “They’ve been supportive of the Urban Initiative program from day one, and it’s great to have an organization like that in your corner.”
In addition, Dick’s Sporting Goods, a Little League sponsor, is pitching in to make each 2011 Urban Initiative Jamboree a memorable experience by providing several items for each player at all seven jamborees.
The seven jamborees this summer take the place of the annual Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree hosted by Little League International each Memorial Day weekend. During the six years (2004-09) the Jamboree was played at the Little League International complex in South Williamsport, Pa., teams from 66 different Urban Initiative leagues and more than 800 players participated.
The Little League Urban Initiative is now operating with more than 200 leagues in nearly 85 cities in the United States. The Urban Initiative also has participated in nearly 30 field renovation/development projects, including its most recent project in Richmond, Va.
For more information on Little League’s Urban Initiative, contact Mr. Ervin at: dervin@LittleLeague.org; or (570) 326-1921. More information on the Little League Urban Initiative is also available on the Little League web site at: www.LittleLeague.org; or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueUrbanInitiative.
Leagues Participating in the Southern California Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree
City of Angels Little League (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Coachella Youth Sports Association Little League (Coachella, Calif.)
Culver Marina Little League (Culver City, Calif.)
Encanto Little League (San Diego, Calif.)
Hawthorne National Wiseburn Little League (Hawthorne, Calif.)
Holly Park Little League (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Newmark Little League (San Bernardino, Calif.)
San Bernardino Little League (San Bernardino, Calif.)
San Diego American Little League (San Diego, Calif.)
Santiago Little League (Santa Ana, Calif.)
University Little League (Los Angeles, Calif.)
West Long Beach Little League (Long Beach, Calif.)
West Pasadena Little League (Pasadena, Calif.)
Wrigley Little League (Los Angeles, Calif.)
2011 Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree Schedule
April 29-May 1 – Southern California Jamboree (Los Angeles, Calif.) – Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
May 13-15 – Florida State Jamboree (Tampa, Fla.) – Junior League (13-14-year-olds) Baseball
May 20-22 – Northern California Jamboree (Stockton, Calif.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Softball
May 27-29 – Mid-Atlantic Jamboree (Richmond, Va.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
May 27-29 – Georgia State Jamboree (Atlanta, Ga.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
May 27-29 – Texas State Jamboree (Houston, Texas) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
June 10-12 – Illinois State Jamboree (Chicago, Ill.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball