BALTIMORE – To celebrate the end of a series of baseball clinics for inner city youth in Baltimore, the Urban Sports League will host “A Day at the Park” on Oct. 29 at Frederick Douglas High School.
The event will be open to the community and include baseball stations for youth to learn batting, pitching, running bases and catching bases. There will also be hot dogs, hamburgers, peanuts and beverages for sale.
Urban Sports League, a locally-based non-profit, is hosting baseball clinics for children in the Baltimore community for eight weeks.
Some 40 children from nine area elementary schools were able to attend 16 sessions led by the Coppin State University baseball team. The goal was to teach the youth the fundamentals of baseball as well as dignity and respect.
They also gained mentors from the 15 Coppin State baseball players and three coaches who volunteered at all the sessions.
“The community’s reception of the league is amazing,” said Delores McKinney co-founder of USL and CEO of Eminence Group, LLC. “I believe one of the most substantial benefits to the community is the sense of excitement that there is an opportunity available to the children to learn not just a sport but core values from people that care.”
During the event, the youth will showcase what they have learned in an intrasquad exhibition game with the Coppin State baseball team.
USL will present the children with participation awards and baseballs that will be autographed by Coppin State baseball players and coaches.
“With all the challenges and past unrest that have taken place on the west side of our city recently, the Urban Sports League has been a shining light,” said Sherman Reed, head baseball coach at Coppin State. “I’m impressed by the strong attendance and support of the parents. The youngsters remain focused and enthusiastic and our participating student athletes are having a blast with the kids. Coppin State Baseball is privileged to be taking part in this very worthwhile initiative.”
The baseball clinics were a pilot program that the Urban Sports League hopes to expand to children in 88 inner cities across the country.
It will target communities that are disproportionately impacted in areas such as education, poverty and other socioeconomic disparities.
Urban Sports League wants to partner with public schools and local colleges and universities to grow the baseball program.
The two year pilot program includes Saginaw, MI in 2017 and leads USL into 10 urban cities Atlanta, GA; Durham, NC; Greensboro, NC; Hampton, VA; Jackson, MS;Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Tallahassee, FL and Washington, DC in 2018.
College baseball teams from across the country have volunteered to help USL administer the program.
The league will expand to more districts in the Baltimore area every year. This season targeted youth in Baltimore’s council district 7 and in 2017 USL will add councildistrict 5.
“Coppin State University for more than 100 years continues to weave its foothold into its neighborhood and has this year ignited a wave of humanity that is capturing families and igniting unprecedented hope through its support of the Urban Baseball League,” said Karen Barbour,president of The Barbour Group, LLC. “USL believes that inner city kids that have succeeded in life need to re-engage with and give back to their communities to help the next generation of children succeed. The care and genuine concern provided by these young children has caused many of their younger siblings to cry in anticipation of joining the USL.”
So far, USL has received local commitments from the head baseball coaches of Johns Hopkins University, Anne Arundel Community College and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.Ultimately, the Urban Sports League wants to have an Urban Baseball League for young boys and an Urban Softball League for young girls. Clinics will be held throughout the year.
“A Day at the Park” will be held from 12-4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs so they can relax and enjoy the day.
ABOUT URBAN SPORTS LEAGUE
Coppin State Baseball To Participate In
National Urban Sports League (USL) 501(c)3 created to administer two youth sports programs in the top 88 urban cities throughout the United States. The league for boys will be called the Urban Baseball League (UBL); and the league for girl will be called Urban Softball League (USL). Each league will begin with ages 6U and 8U, growing yearly until 17U. We are partnering with inner city public schools and local colleges & universities to provide each child with high caliber instructional training for our National Pastime. The league was founded by Delores L. McKinney and Lou Presutti as a greater good effort to give inner city children the opportunity to play baseball and softball and to keep this great American tradition alive in our urban cores.
Courtesy Ruffin Bell Coppin State Media