With the season quickly approaching we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight two great new additions to the Hespeler Minor Softball Association this year.
This year we have had a Player and Coach Development Director on our Board, Brad McConnell, who has been running clinics every Monday since November 28th, 2016. It started out slow, as it was new to our families and players, but over time it really took off. New and returning players who attended worked on fundamental skills such as throwing, catching, fielding, hitting and some basic knowledge as to “what to do, where to go” in any given situation on the playing field. Coaches and potential coaches learned some basic practice drills and how to apply them. Respect from player to coach and coach to player was also on the agenda. We have already seen player confidence increase and their skills have certainly improved. We would like to send a shout out to all of the volunteers and parents who helped us make this new venture a great success! Thanks also must go out to Coach Brad for all of his hard work and dedication, and for sharing his love of ball with our kids.
Our second venture this season, which we are very excited about, was to charter and train with the Jays Care Challenger Baseball Program. We have been wanting to start our Adaptive Division back up and really work hard at expanding it, as the closest Challenger program is run out of Hamilton, which is way too far to expect our families to drive to. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Jays Care Challenger Baseball Program, here is a bit more information about it:
Challenger Baseball is an adaptive baseball program designed specifically to empower children and youth living with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. The program is designed to teach children and youth the core life-skills inherent to baseball including: teamwork, communication, determination, resiliency, inclusion, support, and courage. Challenger Baseball is a fun and inclusive league that ensures every participant can play in a safe environment and set and achieve their own personal goals. This unique partnership between Baseball Canada, Little League Canada and Jays Care Foundation is creating opportunities for more children to be a part of a team.
What is the Challenger Baseball philosophy?
At Challenger, their philosophy and belief is that every baseball practice and game should provide an opportunity for all children to:
• Work and play with others;
• Develop strong and lasting relationships with peers and coaches;
• Learn new skills and improve existing ones;
• Learn more about themselves, their abilities, and their potential;
• Learn to be a contributing member of a group;
• Develop self-confidence and self-efficacy; and
• Take risks and have fun!
Lastly, we are always seeking out those who would like to join a hard working team of volunteers who provide a quality ball program for the youth in and around Hespeler. There are still many positions open and we are sure there are people out there with the skills we require. If you are interested in becoming involved in a great organization that has been around for a very long time please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently looking for conveners, a secretary, a treasurer, a special events coordinator, and a sponsorship director.
Submitted by Lyndsay Koivisto, Vice President