Cam Villa: Colonial Heights Kickball League organizer
Kickin’ it in Colonial Heights
Longtime Colonial Heights resident Cam Villa was looking for a way to bring the neighborhood together while making the most of what he saw as an under-utilized park. The result? A league of Colonial Heights’ own, for playing kickball. Gearing up for its second year, Villa took some time to tell SN&R about how the league started and what’s coming next.
Is this an all-ages kickball league?
It’s an adult-only kickball league. Anybody over 18. The kickball league is called the Colonial Heights Kickball League, and it’s centered around the neighborhood of Colonial Heights in South Sacramento, and the entrance to our neighborhood is Stockton Boulevard and San Francisco Boulevard. Part of the reason [I started the league] is our park was underused, just like a lot of parks south of Broadway, and we wanted to bring back the community to bring back the park again.
We just wanted everybody to have a place in the [community] … and that was better represented with an activity instead of a neighborhood association meeting or a get-together talking about some of these possible negative aspects that people talk about in some of our neighborhoods in Sacramento, and we wanted to bring people together in more of a fun, community basis. We don’t always have to be talking about changing things. We just wanted to go out and have fun in the parks.
How do people join?
First and foremost, initially it was directed towards members of our neighborhood, then those members, their friends and people from outside. I’d say the kickball league is kind of a neighborhood-centric league, but we have players from all over. The main goal of the leagues is we asked for sponsors to pay the costs, which allows the league to be almost free to all participants … The cost is around $20 to $30 for the year. We get sponsors to pay for all of the park costs, and all of the sponsors are from the Colonial Heights neighborhood, whether that be neighborhoods or businesses … We have six teams, and each of the teams has 25 players … Part of it is with the diversity of our neighborhood, not everyone works a nine-to-five … so we increased the teams so if you can show up, you can play, and if you can’t, it’s no big deal.
What’s your goal for the league?
We have to reach each other outside of Nextdoor or Facebook. These neighborhood issues are not a challenge; it’s a challenge to get people to talk about it, really. A lot of us feel the same way about things going on in our neighborhoods. And these older people in our neighborhoods have shown us this by involvement through community. There’s a ton of events in that park, more events than I’ve seen in any other park, in terms of community coming together … We have an Easter event where we hide over 600 eggs on Easter Sunday. We obviously have a National Night Out … and then the kickball league is 14 weeks, from May 15 to Aug. 13.