The group of returning Baseball for All players arrived on Thursday at the Baptist Village pumped to get going for the second time. Most of the 26 kids – Israeli Arabs from Ramle and Israeli Jews from Modiin – had taken part in the first Baseball for All Session in March and were looking forward to seeing their team mates and friends again.
Baseball for All is a program initiated by the Israel Association of Baseball in partnership with the Play Global nonprofit organization. The goal is to unite kids from two different cultures, giving them a chance to build understanding while having fun. Joining this session from Play Global was Tony Klarberg, Head of the Swedish Baseball Academy.
The second session kicked off with some fun ice breakers just to get the players back in touch with one another. Then the practicing began, and the players got to work on the skills they had learned in March. Joining the group were 10 volunteers from Citibank, who spent the first day with the players, helping with the coaching and joining in with the fun. The players were treated to a Premier League game in the evening. They enjoyed the action on the field, as well as a BBQ complete with baseball hot dogs.
Day 2 was dedicated to games. The players were divided into 4 teams and played a fun and exciting round robin. “What was clear in this session,” says Nate Fish, National Director of the Israel Association of Baseball, “was that this time the kids came prepared to play baseball and knew the importance of team work, no matter who was on their team. This is what we were aiming for – kids from two different cultures cooperating in the name of baseball and having a lot of fun in the process.”
The feedback from the players themselves was only positive. One
player, when asked what they thought about the program, answered, “It’s
so great, I don’t even have the words to describe it.” And they are all
looking forward to the third and last session for 2015, which will take
place in October.