I participated in team sports my entire childhood and youth. The lessons I learned on the field, truly impacted and shaped the kind of person I was off it. I was taught that it often takes many different people with many different talents to reach success. I was taught that winning isn’t everything. I was taught loyalty, comradery and grace. I formed friendships with people that I might not have, were we not on the same team together. Basically, team sports are huge part of who I am today – and I would not change that for the world. As a mom, I will definitely encourage my kids to participate in sports – I know, first hand, what the benefits are.
I cannot imagine never having had the opportunity to play team sports. Sadly, for many kids in our city, this is the case. Two local organizations, however, want to change this…
The Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation (VCBF) believes that every child has the right to play ball regardless of conditions that are beyond their control. This belief, combined with the vision of helping youth find self-confidence, hope, improved health, and a skill set that will help not just on a baseball diamond, but in life, has lead to the creation of the first-ever mini league of its kind in North America.
Starting next Thursday, July 5, in association with the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, VCBF will bring more than 300 children from across the Lower Mainland to the historic Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium to play ball for the first time.
Over a seven-week period, a total of six games will be played in an atmosphere that promotes collaboration and a spirit of fair play. Children, who might not have an opportunity to play baseball otherwise, will be coached and mentored by local sports personalities and community figures. They will receive free equipment they get to keep (glove, bag, helmet, etc.), free meals, free transportation to and from the stadium as well as a weekly ‘talk’ by an elite level athlete or inspiring leader geared to promoting 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, Chairman of VCBF. “We believe every child should have access to this regardless of external conditions beyond their control. Our mini baseball league removes all barriers and allows a child to play, grow and make memories that will last a lifetime.” The program is the first of its kind by any major or minor league club in North America.
“The response we had from children wanting to be a part of this program was overwhelming. We cannot wait to see their faces when they get onto the field for the first time,” says Carolyn Tuckwell, President & CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC.
For more information visit the VCBF website at: http://atmilb.com/LpgGFY