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Westwood Neighborhood Take Championship Title in City's 1st Neighborhood Wiffle Ball Tournament 
Wiffle Ball Tournament Champions

After a full, beautiful July day of base running and ball catching, the 1st Annual Knoxville Neighborhood Wiffle Ball Tournament came to a close Saturday. Westwood took home the pennant after a tense final against Island Home Park, but not without stiff competition from Forest Heights, West Hills, Oakwood Lincoln Park and Timbercrest.

The tournament was the brainchild of Knoxville native Jennifer Reynolds, and developed through cooperation with the City’s Office of Neighborhoods and Parks and Recreation Department. What started out as grassroots organization grew into an event that saw over 100 people in attendance.

Wiffle Ball Tournament Play

“We really weren’t sure what to expect,” said Debbie Sharp, head of the City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods. The Office of Neighborhoods serves as a liaison between neighborhoods and City departments, but this was their first event aimed at bringing all City neighborhoods together.

According to Sharp, that is an essential part of the Office of Neighborhoods’ mission.

“What I think this helped with is, neighborhoods don’t always have to rally around negative issues…sometimes it’s helpful when neighborhoods rally around positive issues,” said Sharp.

The neighborhoods did their part, too. Each neighborhood organization helped promote the event and Timbercrest residents manned a concession stand for the audience. With a tournament that featured best-of-three series to advance, the concessions were hopping all day.
But all neighborhoods agreed that the work was worth it. As Knoxville continues to grow, making sure neighborhoods stay connected with each other is more important than ever. Not just about issues or common struggles, but on a personal and fun level, as well.

“It helped neighborhoods get to know other neighborhoods,” said Sharp. “The fact that this was new and fun…probably brought folks that hadn’t even been active in their neighborhood before.”

Thanks to Reynolds’ idea and execution, the City is now looking to keep the friendly competition going in the future. While six teams competed this year, the organizers see the event growing in the coming years.

There may be more events as well. The Office is interested in hearing from other Knoxville residents about ideas they might have to encourage neighborhood involvement and cooperation.
Any resident looking for training or guidance in organizing a neighborhood association or event is encouraged to call the Office of Neighborhoods at 865-215-4382, or the Parks and Recreation Department at 865-215-1700.

Written by City of Knoxville Communications Intern, Jarrod Nelson
Posted by On 16 June, 2017 at 4:33 PM