Youth baseball clinic Sept. 17
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 9, 2005 1:45 PM
Local youths will once again have the opportunity to learn new baseball skills or hone old ones at the 4th annual Take Me Out To The Ballgame baseball clinic.
It will be held Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at the George Whitfield Sports Complex on Buckswamp Road for boys and girls ages 6 through 14.
The clinic is free and sponsored by WAGES' For Children Council of Wayne County. To register for the baseball clinic, call 734-1178, ext. 238 or e-mail Jennifer Dupuis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to council member Sonya Strouse, children will receive first-hand tutoring in basic diamond skills from local coaches instructing them in pitching, hitting, base running, throwing and fielding, all the aspects of baseball that they need to know to be good baseball players.
"But that's really just the surface of the baseball clinic," she said. "What we also hope will be going on is that they will see really positive role modeling.
"We will be talking with the children about staying physically fit. Child obesity is a big thing now and staying physically fit is very important for kids of all ages."
She said local coaches and council members will also work with the children and talk with them about good sportsmanship -- coaches' interaction with parents being positive, parents' interaction with coaches, parents' interaction with their children and children's interaction among themselves.
"Athletics is fun and a way to learn good lifeskills, but it should always be a positive experience," said Mrs. Strouse.
There will also be information for parents about child abuse and neglect prevention, teaching children good sportsmanship, being positive role models, helping children with homework and more.
Parents will also have the opportunity to register for door prizes.
In addition to baseball instruction, children attending will receive a free For Children baseball clinic T-Shirt and a hot dog lunch provided by the sports complex and Wayne County Extension and Community Association.
Equipment will be available for those who do not have their own.
Mrs. Strouse said the purpose of the baseball clinic is to get the For Children Council's message out. "It is a child abuse prevention council. This is a chance to do something positive for this community for all the children."
Verna Best, council member, said sports is a way to build character in children. "If we can build character in children at an early age, then they are less prone to grow up and be abusers themselves," she said. "And they will be less likely to be targets of abuse and neglect."
Mrs. Best said the council's mission is to mobile community resources in order to prevent child abuse and neglect.
"Some of the activities we do are geared towards providing education and opportunities to nurture children as well as parents and make sure we bridge any gaps in support that lead to some of the issues surrounding abuse and neglect," she said.
In addition to the baseball clinic, the council will distributed care packages in November and December to families it has identified who may be in need of other supportive services.
The 2nd annual candlelight vigil will be held in February at Berkeley Mall. Mrs. Best said the purpose of the vigil is to "heighten awareness about the devastating effects of abuse and neglect in Wayne County and throughout North Carolina.
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