Hype builds ahead of series

2016-09-13 06:00

The Grassy Park Crusaders Baseball Club will host their annual Youth Friendship Series from Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October at the Rooikrans sports complex from 09:30 until 17:30. Eight teams have registered to take part in the event, which is now in its eighth year. There will be a tuck shop and stalls present and breakfast will be served at 08:00. Crusaders will be joined by fellow baseball clubs Athlone A’s, Battswood, Bellville, Bothasig, Durbanville, VOB as well as Worcester Strikers.

For the past seven years the festival has grown from four to six teams, with Crusaders hosting eight teams since last season.

“Baseball is a costly sport. With less disposable income for many families, parents are being forced to choose between allowing their child to play the sport they love and providing for the family. Crusaders’ mission is to allow each child to participate, regardless of ethnicity, disabilities or income,” states Lorene Beukes, convener of the tournament.

She thanked the surrounding community for their continued generosity and support, but emplored corporate sponsors to keep showing an interest in their sport.

“We are determined to significantly reduce the fees associated with participation. The club focuses on nurturing community kids from six to 18 by teaching them life skills such as self-respect, respect for others and commitment through the baseball that is coached,” she adds.

The Baseball Association of Western Province (BAWP) administers a baseball league programme for junior baseball players in the u.8 to u.18 age groups after which players enter teams to compete in the three various senior leagues. Here, leagues are open to everyone older than 18 and the players enter various levels of competition amongst players of all ages.

“The gap leaves the youngsters vulnerable to losing interest and exposed to the negativities lurking in our community such as gangsterism, drugs etceteras. In an effort to keep these young players in the game they are all equally passionate about, the club embarked on an event over two days where these players are given an opportunity to enhance and pit their skills against players of the same ilk and therefore continue their development into the senior ranks,” explains Beukes.

The festival is seen as the highlight which precedes the baseball season, and sees approximately 160 players and hoards of baseball supporters over the duration of the weekend.

V Contact Lorene Beukes on 061 507 5849 to book a stall.

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