Wednesday, July 25, 2012

City Welcomes Youth Baseball Tournament to Richmond

The city of Richmond and the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League (MJBL) are joining together to sponsor the Inner City Classic tournament in Richmond. The Classic, which is the oldest and longest running inner city baseball tournament in the country, will begin on July 31 and continue through Aug. 5. Games will be held on almost every field in Richmond, including The Diamond, and will include free activities for the public. The five day tournament is expected to bring hundreds of young baseball players ages six to nineteen to the city along with their coaches, families and friends.
     “We welcome the MJBL Inner City Classic back to the city of Richmond and I am pleased that more than 1500 talented inner-city youth will have the opportunity to be part of the tournament. We also welcome the economic impact that accompanies the tournament,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I commend MJBL for providing the opportunity for urban youth to travel to other cities and experience diverse cultures all while enjoying the game of baseball.”
     As part of their tournament experience, the young players will have the opportunity to visit four area colleges - Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond - as well as attend a Flying Squirrels game and spend an afternoon at Kings Dominion. In addition, a Bobby Bonds Memorial Symposium will be held on the evening of August 3 at Virginia Union University’s Auditorium. The symposium will feature a panel discussion on cognitive and physical benefits of youth baseball.
     Designed especially for the public and fans is a free morning workout session with fitness gurus “Lisa and Priest” of WholeLifeStyles Inc. on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 9 a.m. that will be held in Byrd Park beside Fountain Lake. Lisa and Priest are well-known from Lisa’s appearance on NBC Today and her regular spot on New York’s WWRL AM talk radio. She has also been featured in Essence, Prevention and Fitness magazines and on MSNBC, CBS and ABC. A Health Fair will take place in Byrd Park behind the tennis complex immediately following the workout. It is also free and open to the public.
     Dr. Norman Merrifield, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities stated, “We fully support youth engagement in athletics and programs that promote public health, as well as the economic benefits this tournament will bring to the city.”
     The opening ceremony will take place on July 31 at The Diamond with teams being introduced prior to the Richmond Flying Squirrels vs. Reading Phillies game. The Classic tournament games will begin Aug. 1 at 9 a.m. and continue through Aug. 5, with the final championship game to be held at The Diamond. The 12U championship game, which has been dubbed the “MJBL Black World Series,” will take place on Saturday, Aug. 4. All games are open to the public and free to attend. For a complete schedule and more information, visit

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Help a Child Fall in Love with Tennis

Would you like to engage your child in an activity that will help keep them active and healthy, and that they may enjoy for a lifetime?  If so, the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and the Healthy Richmond Campaign has the program for you. And best of all it’s free!  
     This Saturday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the department will teach the exciting new QuickStart Tennis program at the Byrd Park Tennis Complex, located at South Boulevard and Blanton Avenue. This program will demonstrate to adults how they can teach tennis to children younger than age 10.
     QuickStart Tennis, developed by the United States Tennis Association, is a new way to teach children the game of tennis and to get them involved and enjoying the sport from the start. In Saturday’s program, expert instructors with the Richmond and U.S. Tennis Associations and the department’s athletic staff will teach you the skills you need to engage children in tennis using the QuickStart program. This program is perfect for parents, tennis instructors, tennis coaches or anyone who wants to share their love of tennis with children age 10 and younger.
     Space in Saturday’s free workshop is limited, so call 901-5237 to reserve your spot today or for more information.

Monday, July 23, 2012

NYC Fitness Gurus Offer Free Workout in Byrd Park

Join New York fitness gurus Lisa and Priest Priestly of WholeLifeStyles Inc. for a free workout in Byrd Park beside Fountain Lake on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 9 a.m.  The city’s Healthy Richmond Campaign and the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League are partnering to host this event for fans and the public during the Inner City Classic youth baseball tournament, July 31 through August 5.
     Lisa Priestly and Roderick “Priest” Priestly, two of New York City’s top fitness trainers and co-owners of WholeLifeStyles Inc., will lead the workout that is designed for all fitness levels. After the workout, pick up some personal tips and take advantage of the free health and fitness information.
     “We are pleased to have these two fitness ‘stars’ in Richmond to lead this free workout,” said Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Director Dr. Norman Merrifield. “Both the Classic youth baseball tournament and this workout opportunity complement the Mayor’s Healthy Richmond Campaign in promoting healthy lifestyle choices that have a physical and economic impact on the well-being of the entire community.”
     Lisa and Priest take a holistic approach to fitness that incorporates physical fitness, nutritional awareness and mental focus to achieve optimal health. Their integrated approach comes from Lisa’s experiences in personal communications work, Yoga, holistic lifestyle coaching, and Ayurveda along with multiple fitness certifications, and Priest’s focus and discipline gained through martial arts and results-oriented fitness goals.
     For more information on the Inner City Classic, visit www.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kids Can Eat Free All Summer

The department is working to ensure no child goes hungry this summer with the Summer Meals for Kids program. The program provides hundreds of thousands of free meals for children throughout the Richmond area every summer. All any child between the ages of one and 18 has to do to eat free is walk into any of the more than 125 sites around the city where the meals are served. No advanced registration or reservations are required.
     The program is offered through the department’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Every spring the department recruits sites that offer youth programs during the summer to sign up to receive the free breakfasts, lunches, or suppers, or various combinations of these that fit their programs. The department then contracts with a food service company that prepares and delivers the meals to the various sites. Participation in the program is also free for the participating sites.
     The purpose of the program is to make sure children have access to proper nutrition during the summer months when they are not receiving meals at school. Last summer, the department’s program served approximately 346,000 free meals to kids throughout the city and beyond. This summer the program will continue through Aug. 31. For a list of sites where your kids can eat for free, call 804-646-5752 or visit 

Register for Youth Football, Cheerleading

Children who live in the city, between the ages of 5 and 14, and are not beyond eighth grade in school, can register to play football or become a cheerleader this fall with the Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities. Registration cost just $25 per child and will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 28 and August 18 at the following community centers:  

    • Battery Park, 2803 DuPont Circle
    • Bellemeade/T.B. Smith, 2015 Ruffin Rd.
    • Blackwell, 300 E. 15th St.
    • Chimborazo, 3000 E. Marshall St.
    • Hickory Hill, 3000 E. Belt Blvd.
    • Hotchkiss, 701 E. Brookland Park Blvd.
    • Powhatan, 5051 Northampton St.
    • Randolph, 1415 Grayland Ave.
    • Reid, 1301 Whitehead Rd.
    • Westover, 1301 Jahnke Rd.   
Practices will begin on Monday, August 6, and games will be held on Saturdays beginning on September 8.  The season will culminate in tournament championship games and an awards ceremony.
     Proof of city residency through a utility bill or rent receipt, grade verification through a report card or current year schedule, and a birth certificate are required at registration. Parents or guardians must also sign a waiver at registration.
     Payment can be made by Visa, MasterCard, check or money order. No cash payments will be accepted.
     For more information, call 804-646-5733.