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The Story of Wilshire Girls Softball

Today Adam Glickman shares the story of Wilshire Girls Softball with us.

Wilshire Girls Softball was started in 2002 by a group of enthusiastic parents in the Mid-Wilshire area who recognized that there weren’t enough local sports leagues for young female athletes. Today, Wilshire Girls Softball is the only USA Softball sanctioned girls fastpitch league from downtown to the west side of LA.

Over the last 14 years, Wilshire Girls Softball has been run exclusively by volunteers, most of whom have been parents. From coaching to field prep to the league board, moms and dads have been donating their time and resources to give young girls a chance to learn and grow through the sport of softball.

The Wilshire community is as diverse as the areas we serve. Girls ages 6 to 14 from over 200 families participate in our fall and spring programs with over 40% getting some kind of financial assistance from the league.

Wilshire is dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of softball while instilling the values of character, fair play, teamwork, respect and self-confidence. Hundreds of Wilshire Softball alumni have gone on to play softball in high school while dozens more have played in college, from division three to division one schools. And one is currently playing on the Swedish National Team!

Wilshire has just come off its most successful all-star season to date. Wilshire’s 8U team took third at Districts while Wilshire’s 12U Gold team placed second at Districts and fourth at States out of 32 teams!

Finally, Wilshire is proud of its partnership with UCLA Softball, the most successful collegiate women’s softball program in history. For the 3rd straight year, Wilshire is the little sister league to the Bruins, a partnership that features an all-day clinic in January for all Wilshire girls hosted all UCLA players and coaches.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Like any small, nonprofit, recreation league, Wilshire Girls Softball has faced its share of obstacles. The greatest challenge has been securing field space which can often be scarce in the big city. Wilshire has had to compete with LA City sports programs and with local boys leagues which are often much bigger. Along the way, we have forged a meaningful partnership with Los Angeles Parks and Recs, including our local park directors and staff,

Like all similar organizations, we are constantly seeking financial support from our local communities. There never seems to be enough money for extra field time, new equipment, clinics, and scholarship discounts. We are always looking for sponsors who believe in the importance of sports for young girls.

What were you like growing up?
Like many parents who have volunteered their time to support Wilshire Girls Softball, I grew up playing sports. As the fathers of two young girls, I recognize the important role sports can play in personal development, especially for young females. Way beyond the ability of my 12-year-old daughter to throw a 52 mph fastball, I know she has learned a great deal about herself and life from her many years on the field, including the importance of teamwork, character, respect, selflessness and hard work. Along the way, she has grown into an incredible young lady who is as fierce on the field as she is compassionate.

As a coach and board member I have grown too, learning to see the world through the eyes of young female athletes who live in the moment, value friendship over base hits, strive to meet the lofty expectations set by us overly enthusiastic parents, all the while demonstrating enormous courage, something easily missed if we don’t stop for a few moments to really watch and appreciate. Mostly, I learned that the most important words are, “I just love watching you play” regardless of what else may happen on the field.

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