Thousands of athletes bringing big money to Henrico County this weekend

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Sports are a big hit this weekend in Henrico County, where two big tournaments are expected to bring a major economic boost to the area.

While 14-year-olds are competing in the Babe Ruth World Series, the county is also playing host to the International Senior Softball World Championship.

That means nearly 3000 athletes, along with their friends and families, are in town to play ball and spend money.

“The restaurants are full of these kids,” explained Dan Schmitt, President of the Glen Allen Youth Athletic League. “The hotels are full, and they are enjoying Glen Allen; they’re enjoying Henrico County.”

The Simhauser family flew in from Oregon to watch Adam swing away at a rare opportunity.

“It’s the trip of a lifetime,” Lisa Simhauser said. “The trip of a lifetime. I’m very proud of him.”She says the trip could cost them as much as five grand, but the memories the boys are creating are worth every penny.

Playing against the top teams in the country might sound daunting, but for the boys, it’s a dream come true.

“It’s an honor to be here,” said Peyton Olejnik of Indiana. “It’s really fun to be here actually. I just love the game of baseball.”

She said the trip could cost them as much as five grand, but the memories the boys are creating are worth every penny.

“They are really bonded,” she added. “They are a phenomenal group of kids and just they’re going to remember this forever.”

It’s the same story on the softball field just a couple miles away, where the seniors are proving that America’s pastime is timeless.

“Made some good friends on other teams,” said Mike Henry, one of the senior softball players. “Had a lot of fun playing the game. It’s a kids game. At this age to still be able to move around…it’s a kids game… what’s wrong with that?”

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