Columbia Little League received a major league boost last week from the Seattle Mariners.
The local Little League based at David Douglas Park in Vancouver received a $5,000 grant from the Mariners to help it expand its winter workout program in addition to get more kids involved in Little League who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
“We are extremely excited because we were trying to figure out how to expand the winter program because so many wanted to take advantage of it,” Columbia Little League president Sarah Krause said. “We don’t want price to keep kids away.”
Krause said Columbia’s winter program is 16 weeks and gives players of any skill level the opportunity to learn the game so they are comfortable when the spring season starts.
“The grant can expand the program and give more kids the opportunity for winter workouts,” Krause said. “We are just trying to reach as many kids as we can and get more to come out.”
Workouts have been held at Baseball Dudes Facility in northeast Vancouver. In addition, Columbia uses its own coaches in the offseason, who dedicate their time to help out.
“It’s just very effortless,” Krause said. “All the coaches know the kids.”
Krause added that Columbia is also trying to get more coaches trained and the Mariners grant will “hopefully start this going as well.”
According to District 4 Administrator Mike Ray, the last time the Mariners awarded a grant in the area was 1999 to Hazel Dell Little League to develop fields at HB Fuller Park.
Vancouver’s Nielson runner-up at tennis nationals
Dennis Nielson of Vancouver added to his collection of national tennis tournament trophies by finishing runner-up in singles and doubles at the USTA National Outdoor Hardcourt Championships over the week of May 12-17.
Nielson competed in the tournament for age groups 75, 80, 85 and 90 at the Laguna Woods Tennis Club in Laguna Hills, Calif.
A member of the Vancouver Tennis Club, Nielson won five out of the seven matches he played in the 85-year-old division, winning two silver balls.
His career national total is now two gold, six silver and four bronze balls.
Neilson said he was joined in the tournament by brother Ron, playing in the 75s age group, and Larry, in the 80s.
Tennis summer camps offered at VTC
The United States Tennis Association Pacific Northwest Section is offering weekly summer tennis camps at the Vancouver Tennis Center for kids ages 4 and up and single session programs for all ages. Spaces are still available.
USTA PNW’s RecTennis Summer Tennis Camps, offered in partnership with Vancouver Parks and Rec, range in price from $42 a week for 90-minute daily sessions to approximately $105 per week for daily four-hour sessions.
RecTennis also offers a 90-minute Friends & Family single-session class for $25 per group of four participants.
Weekly camps begin at $40 per participant for members at VTC. All programs are available to guests for an incremental fee.
Tots can sign up for weekly camps that cost as little as $10 per session. And parents don’t need to go out and buy any special equipment as the right-sized rackets and balls are all provided.
CCRC Summer Series begins Wednesday
The always popular Clark County Running Club’s Summer Series is ready for another run, starting with the David Douglas 5K at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 29.
The race takes place at David Douglas Park, 1016 N. Garrison Road in Vancouver.
June races in the Summer Series include a second David Douglas 5K on June 5, and Washougal Dike 3- and 5-mile runs on June 12 and 19. All have a 7 p.m. start time.
For more details, visit clarkcountyrunningclub.org.