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Rockaway Little League Ready to Start Fresh

Rockaway Little League is returning this spring, and the crew wants YOU to pitch in. Registration is underway on the League’s new website in hopes of recruiting return players and new ones, but the League is also welcoming new leadership and volunteers to bring fresh ideas and to help this longstanding Rockaway tradition continue for the long run.

Running since 1954, the Rockaway Little League has been bringing kids of all ages and their families together to enjoy America’s favorite pastime on the fields of Fort Tilden for generations. Virginia Donohue, who grew up playing softball, and whose own parents served as coaches, now serves as president of the League, and this year, she’s hoping to bring new life to the fields in hopes that Rockaway Little League (RLL) will be here to stay for future generations.

After recently losing the domain name, RLL had to launch a new website (www.rockawaylittleleagueny.net). And with the launch of the new website, registration for the 2023 season has begun and goes through March 4. Rockaway Little League is open to kids, boys and girls, from ages 3-4 to play tee ball in the pee wee league and baseball or softball for kids ages five to 13, with any experience level. For just $150 for tee ball and $200 for baseball/ softball, plus discounts for families with multiple kids in the league, kids receive a full uniform with a hat, shirt, pants and socks, and get to play for the whole season on pristine fields maintained by Matty P. Games typically start in late March and end in late June, with games happening seven days a week, including games after school and earlier in the day on weekends.

After having to take a season off due to the Covid pandemic in 2020, Donohue wants to remind Rockaway that the League is still here. “I think people are forgetting that we’re there and have been for a long time. There are a lot of new families moving into Rockaway, so we want people to know we’re out here,” Donohue said.

Donohue says a part of what makes Rockaway Little League so special, is that it becomes like a family. “What I’ve gotten from parents and families is that they love the fact that it feels like a family. It gives people a warm, inviting feeling that they might not get from other leagues. There’s good camaraderie here,” she said. “The kids are making friends from different schools. We have kids from Breezy to Beach 54th Street, so kids are making friends from different neighborhoods that they might not have met if they hadn’t joined. We have people that move to Long Island and still come back for this league and people who come from Brooklyn. We’re just a family here. To anybody new that signs up, I tell them, ‘Welcome to the Rockaway Little League family.’”

That’s why Donohue is hoping to welcome even more newcomers into the family that would like to see the League continue for years to come. “I don’t want to see this die. We really do need young blood to step up and keep this going because I’m not going to be here forever,” she said. For that reason, Donohue is hoping to not only have new kids register, but for adults to consider taking positions on the Board or volunteering to help with the organization. “Come join the Board. Come be more involved with your kids. The best year I had with my son was when I was coaching him, and I got to spend time with my son in these moments that I normally wouldn’t have had. You get to know your child better. You get to know their friends. You get to be in the middle of their world,” Donohue said.

She’s hoping that folks are eager to come to the table with fresh minds, fresh ideas and new ways to help support the League. “We want fresh ideas and new blood and people with ideas on how we can make this better and how we can grow so it keeps going for another 50 years.”

Anyone who has questions or is interested in volunteering with the League or taking a board position, can email president Donohue at: ginia77@aol.com or vice president Ryan Dougherty at: doughertyryan10@gmail.com

Registration for the League is now open. To register, head to www.rockawaylittleleagueny.net and click “Sign In” and then sign up for an account.

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