NORTH Shore youths are among approximately 300 from the Lower Mainland counting down the days until they get on the baseball field for the first time.
Representatives of the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation believe that every child has the right to play ball regardless of conditions that are beyond their control. According to a written statement, starting Thursday, July 5, in association with the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast B.C., the foundation will bring more than 300 children from across the Lower Mainland to Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium to play baseball.
Over a seven-week period, six games will be played in an atmosphere that promotes collaboration and a spirit of fair play. Participants will be coached and mentored by local sports personalities and community figures and will receive free equipment (glove, bag, helmet, etc.), meals, transportation and a weekly talk geared to the promotion of self-esteem and leadership skills.
The life lessons and confidence developed through team sports such as baseball are invaluable to a child's development, says Jeff Mooney, foundation chairman, in the statement. The mini baseball league is intended to remove all barriers and allow children to play, grow and make memories that will last a lifetime.
The response received from children wanting to be part of the program has been overwhelming, says Carolyn Tuckwell, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast B.C., adding she can't wait to see participants' faces when they get onto the field for the first time.
The mini league is the first of its kind by any major or minor league club in North America and will consist of two divisions: children ages six-eight will be in the "TBall" division; and those nine to 11 will be in the "CoachPitch" division.
For more information, visit the foundation website: atmilb.com/LpgGFY.