Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pittsburgh Sports League Gears Up for Summer Leagues

By Marsha S. Morgenstern

Dodgeball and kickball – these sports aren’t just for kids anymore! In fact, they are just two of several sports offered by the Pittsburgh Sports League (PSL) this summer. Now in its 8th year, PSL provides co-ed recreational sports activities to men and women of all ages. Non-traditional sports offered by PSL include “Dek hockey” (played on foot and not to be confused with in-line, roller hockey) along with “Cornhole,” (a game also known as “bean bag toss” or “baggo.”) For traditionalists, basketball, tennis, volleyball, running, and flag football are available.

According to Becky Reitmeyer, Pittsburgh Sports League director, PSL leagues are organized, social, open to newcomers, and affordable. “PSL meets two main needs: it provides organized sports for adults and it’s a great way to make friends because you will inevitably see the same people,” she said.

Sandra Kozera, 31, joined PSL in 2002. She met her fiancé, Ben Williams, 29, through PSL while playing dek hockey together. The couple now lives in Wheeling, West Virginia, commuting to Pittsburgh to play PSL sports. Together, they play hockey, flag football, and sometimes softball.

“The PSL summer softball leagues are especially just really fun -there's a wide variety of skill levels, because everyone wants to be outside and playing softball in the summer - and people often hang out and tailgate and enjoy the good weather,” Kozera said. “It's a fun thing to do in your spare time, a good way to let off steam, and in some cases a good way to stay in shape.”

Kozera said PSL is also good for networking. “I just graduated from law school in the spring, and when I was looking for jobs, all my lawyer sports league friends were willing to help out.”

For more information on the Pittsburgh Sports League contact Becky at 412-338-2133, ext. 11 or visit

Monday, April 14, 2008

2008 Pittsburgh Venture Outdoors Fest

By: Marsha S. Morgenstern

The April showers have passed. Now is the time to get outside and Venture Outdoors is the perfect organization to help you do that. The not-for-profit founded in 2001 offers activities year-round. On May 17th, they will hold the 8th annual Venture Outdoors Festival from 11 am to 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public. 10,000 participants are expected. (Last year’s festival attracted 8,000 people.)

“The Venture Outdoors Festival provides a sweet opportunity to sample many aspects of Pittsburgh’s great outdoors community: kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, biking, fishing, dragon boating…activities that some folks don’t realize are at our finger tips,” Sean Brady, Venture Outdoors assistant executive director said.

Nicole Frankhouser, 29, of Pittsburgh, has participated in several Venture Outdoors activities over the last six months. “I can’t just pick one Venture Outdoors experience that is my favorite,” She said. “Overall it’s just great enjoying the outdoors while trying new activities with friends! Venture Outdoors is also a great way to get exercise while learning and exploring the Pittsburgh region.”

According to Brady, the festival will span the back channel between the Three Rivers Rowing Association boathouse on Washington’s Landing and Millvale Riverfront Park, with a free water taxi all day. Festival parking is free, but limited space is available. Therefore, Venture Outdoors encourages festival goers to use the Del Monte lots on River Avenue (between Warfield Street and Gazena Way) and take the convenient, free shuttle.

“Or, better yet, attendees can hop on the trail right across the street and bike or walk to the festival. Brightly clad volunteers will be on hand to direct people to the open spaces and the trail,” Donna L. Bour, Event Manager of the 2008 Venture Outdoors Festival said.

For more information on venture outdoors, check out their website at or call 412-255-0635.

Images courtesy of Sean Brady, Venture Outdoors.