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A mother and daughter stand in front of a chain link fence with their faces close together, both with long, dark hair.

People of Richmond: Do kids have enough sports outlets?

on October 1, 2023

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity.

Q: Do West Contra Costa kids have enough sports and recreation opportunities?

“I feel like there’s a lot of sports opportunities. It’s just about looking for it. She’s into ballet. She’s a different kind of sport. So it’s harder to find that type. I haven’t found a dance team or anything for her.” (Jocelyn Ortega, after school instructor, pictured above with daughter Roselyn Rodrigo)

“The school offers a large amount of opportunities when the kids are older. I wish there were more sports for the younger kids. The fields are here. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be used.”

(Alyssa Donsbach, mother)

Salvador Ramos stands in a yard. wearing a gray hoodie with A87 1987 embroidered on it and his long, dark hair pulled back.

“Well, my kid, he is in kindergarten, but outside of school, I know they have other types of programs that kids of certain ages could sign up for because he used to play T-ball. So I don’t know in school, but I know outside of school there is a bunch of programs that the kids could get into, play all types of sports.” (Salvador Ramos, Amazon driver)

“I have two boys who did Little League and they enjoyed that, and they did that three years. So my experience has been really good. As far as if there’s enough, I just honestly don’t know.”

(Tim Carnes, musician and teacher)

A woman with dark hair and a broad smile stands in a field with houses behind her, wearing a white fleece zip-up jacket.
Mehak Jain

“I think the resources lie more towards like Kensington, El Cerrito and Berkeley, where
there’s a lower minority population. There’s not that many minorities there; so I think Richmond
having more minorities doesn’t always necessarily see all those resources in all of the areas that we would like them to, right? They’re in certain locations, you have to find them, they are pocketed. I think it’s definitely a work in progress where, you know, the city could step up a little bit, or maybe divide the the resources in Contra Costa, so that Richmond does have more of that.” (Mehak Jain, marine and climate scientist)

“Sí tienen oportunidades, nada más que no hay el tiempo ahorita.”

(Evelio Calderon, construction worker)

A woman in blue overalls and a red and black plaid top smiles behind sunglasses in front of a building with yellow and red window shades over nine windows.
Emily Velez

“Maybe give more sport programs to the public schools, and for the local community to give enrichment like more swimming lessons. Because every time I try to enroll my child, like I don’t have enough money, and private activities are very expensive. And every time I try to enroll them for swimming classes, they’re full. They offer just so little quantity and not everybody gets benefited. I would say for more free opportunities — or not free, but like, with affordable prices — would be great.” (Emily Velez, mother)

Danielle Deveaux in long, dark braids, white turtle neck and gray sweater, with two lanyards around her neck dangling keys and a Helms Middle School bad stands outside in front of a blue wall.
Danielle Deveaux

“I think this is a Richmond specific problem. There are more student complaints than parent complaints because students are like, ‘Where’s the soccer team?’ or ‘Where’s the basketball team?’ So I think more complaints come from students that want to be more active.” (Danielle Deveaux, speech therapist)

Jasmine Barnes, in dark. pony tail and royal blue tank top sits in a car holding a cell phone next to her right ear.
Jasmine Barnes

“No. I know it’s a budget issue with the schools, but I don’t know why they don’t have it in the neighborhoods … They do regularly elementary school things, kickball, tag, things like that. But this is when the kids should start getting into other kinds of sports: tennis, baseball. ” (Jasmine Barnes, hotel worker)

Wearing a red hoodie over an olive green shirt, Alfredo Valencia stands in a field in. front of an orange mesh fence, a Warriors bridge camp on his head.

“All the kids they come out and they need distraction and exercise. Otherwise what happens to the young guys? They should open more places. Otherwise there’s going to be more problems brought to the city.” (Alfredo Valencia, retired business owner)

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