YOURfreetiMe says, “we try to provide an array of sports activities for youth and adults. Between basketball, start smart programs, sports camps, gymnastics and other indoor sports, we serve about 3,500 people in the community center. And we work with area sports organizations to serve thousands more in the parks.” Heritage Oak Park along Mason’s northern border is one of the more expansive and popular play areas for local outdoors sports. Eliot Bastian, a Mason resident since 1993, recently took to one of the ball diamonds with his 12-year-old son Ethan and his younger brother Evan prior to the first pitch of an important league baseball game. Watching from a lawn chair nearby is wife Jacqui and other parents of the boys baseball team. “Whatever your skill level, Mason has a ball club for you,” says Eliot. “The sports programs for youth and adults in Mason are excellent.” Though her son is on the opponents’ team, Kristen Bomkamp, a decade-long resident of the city, heartily agrees. Her 10-year-old boy plays baseball in the summer, community league football in the fall and basketball in the winter. “There are so many opportunities for sports here in the city. And they encourage sportsmanship while also emphasizing instruction. I like how the sports really foster sportsmanship and teamwork and stress those values over competition,” says Kristen, who also doubles as her son’s team statistician. The fees for youth sports leagues can vary widely but most leagues offer caps for families who may have more than one child—or adult—playing. But you can’t put a price on the “family friendly environment” that accompanies Mason’s recreational sports, says Kristen. “You get to really know the community and make some friends,” she says. Nearby, Trish General watches her 14-yearold daughter Rachel take the field for her recreational softball team. Having moved from Chicago to Mason last year, Trish is already impress with the serious attitude that Mason residents take to organized play. “My gosh, there are so many opportunities to play sports here,” she says.