Ngoepe to hold clinics in Philippi

2017-12-07 06:00
 Mpho “Gift” Ngoepe plays in American Baseball league

Mpho “Gift” Ngoepe plays in American Baseball league

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South Africa’s only baseballer playing in America’s prestigious Major League,, is coming to Philippi next week to conduct clinics and assist in developing local talent.

The 27-year-old hotshot shortstop, who played for Pittsburgh Pirates last season will move to the Toronto Blue Jays next season. He has been engaged by Play Sport4Life to be part of a number of baseball clinics to be run during the December schools holiday period.

Play Sport4Life head Miles October said obtaining the services of Ngoepe for the clinics was “a stunning coup” for the Cape Town-based not-for-profit community oragnisation.

“You can say we’ve hit a homer with bases loaded in getting Ngoepe to join us,” October said. In all my 40 years of being connected with baseball in Cape Town, this is, without a doubt, the most significant high-profile player to be involved with us. He is a current Major League Baseball player in North America and that is where the world’s best play.”

October said Ngoepe was amenable to being part of the clinics because “he shared Play Sport4Life’s objectives”. “Our organisation aims to improve the lives of the disadvantaged communities through sport and Ngoepe can relate to that. His is a success story that most children in the disadvantaged community can only dream of.

“Ngoepe’s mother was employed as a domestic worker at the clubhouse of the Randburg Baseball Club. She lived on the premises with the young Ngoepe and that kickstarted his interest in baseball. Now he is playing in the best baseball league in the world.”

October said the finer details of the clinics were still being put in place, but it will form

part of Play Sport4Life’s regular school holiday programs.

“I have no doubt that skills development and talent identification will be a major part

of it. Ngoepe will be a terrific role model for the kids who attend our holiday programs,” he said.

The Holiday Program will run from December 4-15. It will be held in Mimosa Primary School in Bonteheuwel from December 4-6, at Bongolwethu in Phillippi on 7th and

8th, at Rygendal Primary School in Atlantis from 11th to 13th, and in Kensington at the 14th Avenue sportsfield from 11th to 15th.

“Ngoepe will be assisting our coaches to teach the kids baseball and softball.” On Saturday, December 9, Ngoepe will be a guest at the Maitland Giants vs Crusaders games at the 14th Avenue sportsground.

“We hope there is a good turnout because it is an opportunity to learn from one of our best who plays in the top league. It doesn’t come around often. And he is someone the kids can identify with,” October said.

“Ngoepe is living testimony that dreams can be achieved if you work hard in pursuing them, no matter the situation at home.”

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