Sports for “Kids” of All Ages!
For the sports enthusiast among us, the greater Maple Valley and Black Diamond communities are replete with opportunities to exercise your competitive juices. This includes sports for people of all ages, young and old alike.
On the youth side, the opportunities abound, especially thanks to the addition of new field space in recent years. For the youngest among us, the City of Maple Valley offers its Pee Wee Soccer league, providing teams and competition for kids as young as 3 years old. It’s a great way to be introduced to the beautiful game and a fun way for parents to meet others in the community. If your child is ready for a more advanced soccer experience, local club Valor Soccer offers a mixture of recreational, select and premier soccer offerings, providing a progression pathway for kids who want to grow their soccer skills and eventually test themselves against the best players in the region.
Baseball is still a favorite in the area, harkening back to days of old when company baseball teams from each town ruled the sports entertainment options, especially in Black Diamond. The City of Maple Valley offers a popular T-ball league for burgeoning players. As players progress, they might opt for one of the private club offerings in the area including Maple Valley Pony Baseball, Chinook Little League in Enumclaw or Rock Creek Select Baseball out of Ravensdale.
The Tahoma Jr. Bears has a proud tradition of introducing local youth to the game of American football and preparing them for competition on school teams at both the middle school and high school levels. Their offerings include 5v5, 7v7, tackle football, and cheer opportunities.
The City of Maple Valley provides a slow-pitch softball league especially designed for players new to the sport or learning it for the first time for ages 9-12. Maple Valley Pony offers a fast-pitch softball league for those kids ages 7-14 who are looking for more advanced play and a quicker pace to the game.
One of the most up-and-coming sports in the area is definitely Lacrosse. Many players have tried this sport out in recent years and fallen in love with it! Tahoma Lacrosse Club is the go-to destination for players looking to join a team or try the sport out for the first time.
The hard court has a proud home in the area with many local players. The City of Maple Valley offers its Youth Basketball League which is the perfect place for new players to learn the game. It’s a great starting point for players to learn the game before progressing to school teams or higher-level club teams.
Whether it’s indoor swimming and lessons at the Covington Aquatic Center or outdoor fun at lakes like Lake Wilderness, Lake Sawyer or other local swimming holes, our area has plentiful opportunities for those who love to swim regardless of age!
If your kids want to learn how to play tennis, check out Mr. G’s Tennis Camp each summer, a class that is now a local staple for many families’ summer activity plan. And if you just want to hit the ball around for some fun, there are several outdoor courts in the area including at Lake Wilderness Park and Tahoma High School.
With so many trails and biking opportunities in the area, the Tahoma Youth Cycling Development Club organized to provide opportunities for area kids to learn to ride and make friends along the way. From the Tahoma Mountain Bike Team to the Washington Student Cycling League to the Tahoma Enduro Race Team, TYCDC offers opportunities for kids of all skill levels.
Maple Valley Parks & Recreation offers over 15 sports leagues with nearly 100 teams participating each year! From basketball to kickball, soccer to softball (even Pickleball Leagues). Maple Valley Parks & Rec is a great place to find a variety of fun ways to stay active.
Of course, golf can be played by people of all ages but primarily adults dominate play on the local courses. These include Lake Wilderness Golf Course in the heart of Maple Valley, Druid’s Glen just west of Lake Sawyer and the esteemed Washington National Golf Course just a few minutes down the road from Black Diamond.
Even locals are sometimes surprised to learn there is a full disc golf course in Lake Wilderness Park. Called Gaffney’s Grove Disc Golf Course, it offers 18 holes and has been ranked as the top-played course in the state of Washington by UDisc App!
Whether your passion is road biking or mountain biking, Maple Valley and Black Diamond have the opportunities for you! A vast network of trails straddling north Black Diamond and south Maple Valley link the communities together and provide unlimited fun for mountain biking enthusiasts. For those who prefer road bikes, the Cedar River trail offers a paved experience all the way from Maple Valley to Renton, or there are many less traveled roads just east of Maple Valley and Black Diamond where bicyclists can stretch their legs in relative safety.
Like their biking compatriots, runners in the area have a plethora of options from which to pick. One popular choice is the Lake Wilderness trail that runs from just south of Four Corners and follows the eastern side of Lake Wilderness before eventually diving north and connecting with the Cedar River trail. It’s a pleasant respite in nature, a surprise for a trail that literally runs through the heart of the city.
Maple Valley and Black Diamond have a long, close history with the fishing community. To this day, it’s common to find people fishing on Lake Wilderness, Lake Sawyer, or on the Cedar River. A long-time tradition is the “Hooked on Fishing” annual fishing derby – a 24-hour fishing event that includes the only night of the year where overnight camping is allowed in Lake Wilderness Park.
Lake Wilderness Triathlon
An annual tradition has grown up in Maple Valley with the Lake Wilderness Triathlon. The event includes different versions based on skill level and age. The hardest version, the Olympic course, includes a 0.93-mile swim, 27.54 bike course and 6.36-mile run.
After a delay due to COVID in 2020, the IRONMAN 70.3 competition is set to descend upon Maple Valley on September 19, 2021. The event includes a 1.2-mile run, 56-mile bike course, and 13.1 mile run. It promises to be a huge event for the city and for participants. For those not interested in competing in the event, volunteers are always welcome. Click here to learn more sign-up to volunteer.
Black Diamond Tough Mudder
The Tough Mudder has become a popular annual tradition in Black Diamond with participants coming from far flung locations to participate. The event includes two options – the Tough Mudder Classic which includes 8-10 miles and 25 obstacles or the Tough Mudder 5K which is 3 miles in length with 13 obstacles.
For more information about local sports activities, schedules, updates and local parks, visit the Parks and Rec web pages of the City of Maple Valley and the City of Black Diamond.
About the Author:
Sean Stewart founded Digi Hammer Social Media Marketing in 2019 with the goal of providing local businesses an affordable and effective option to engage existing customers and to generate qualified new leads to grow their businesses. Focused primarily on top social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google My Business, Digi Hammer provides content creation, social media advertising, copywriting, email marketing, and social media strategy consulting. Sean’s career in launched in 1993 with a stint at Sun Sportswear before he turned to marketing and technology companies such as FreeShop.com (Aptimus), goNextdoor.com, Planner Systems (Portfolio Systems), Microsoft, Revel Consulting, and GP Strategies. Sean lives in Maple Valley with his wife and three children and is an active member of Maple Valley Rotary and St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic parish.