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Youth leagues eager to resume practice Monday

Five Diamonds Little League struggles financially during coronavirus shutdown

SAN ANTONIO – Youth sports leagues in San Antonio that relied on public support and advertising have had virtually none since the coronavirus shutdown.

The Five Diamonds Little League on the city’s South Side was left in “a dire situation,” said league spokeswoman Elaine Ortiz.

Ortiz said what the league board expected would last “only a few weeks,” became three months.

"We've been barely hanging on," she said.

Being that the nonprofit is self-sufficient, Ortiz said, “We had zero income, zero.”

Yet, Ortiz said the league must still maintain its fields at Stinson Park and pay bills.

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Not only has the league suffered financially, so have the players’ parents.

“(The shutdown) has affected them tremendously,” Ortiz said. “We can’t do additional fundraisers because we know how hard it is for parents to pay the Little League registration fee.”

Ortiz said the registration fee is already the lowest in their area.

“We know the lower it is, the more kids will play,” said Ortiz, who added that’s why 900 children on the South Side play on its fields.

Now that Gov. Greg Abbott has allowed youth leagues to resume practice on Monday and play on June 15, Ortiz said the league will be able to sell advertising along the field.

"We can generate a few thousand dollars to help us through this," Ortiz said.

Despite the state’s strict safety guidelines, Ortiz said, “We love our Five Diamonds kids. We love our Five Diamonds families. We can’t wait to see them.”

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