The Redcoats are doing their part to introduce the game to hundreds of primary school students from all over Malta, it is now up to the other stakeholders to provide opportunities so that these children start playing the game at club level
In an effort to grow the game in Malta and to increase the rate of female participation in sports, the Ghajnsielem Redcoats introduced the Softball at Schools initiative in June 2017 with the support of the Ministry for Education & Employment and the World Baseball & Softball Confederation. The Redcoats are currently in their second year of the Erasmus+ Sports: Small Collaborative Partnerships project Inclusion & Gender Equality Through Softball (IGETS). The Softball at Schools initiative was initiated by the Redcoats in support of IGETS.
Last year a softball coaching course was held for PE teachers so that they would be able to teach softball at their respective school. This time it was the turn of Year 5 students of selected schools from Malta to each have a 90 minute softball practice session with high profile softball coaches from the United States.
Scrap Yard Fast Pitch General Manager, Connie May, and softball coach and pitcher Lisa Norris were flown to Malta to conduct the practice sessions for the primary school students by the World Baseball & Softball Confederation in support of the Softball in Schools project.
The first sessions were held on Thursday, March 22, at the Centre for Physical Education and Sport in Hamrun. The US coaches were assisted by another US coach, Tara Henry, and Joseph Scicluna of the Redcoats. Christopher Fava, the PE teacher who is making every effort to promote softball with primary school students in Gozo, was also in attendance to help out along with Joanne Vella who is in the process of starting her own youth softball team. Hitting, throwing, catching and fielding were covered during the first hour. This was followed with a game. The school children enjoyed the session and many showed great potential.
On Friday it was the turn of another group of students to experience first hand the softball practice sessions conducted by US coaches. Despite the continuous threat of rain, the session also turned out to be very entertaining for the students who were very keen and enthusiastic about the sport.
Now that Phase II of the Softball at Schools project has been concluded it is evident that children enjoy playing the game and if given the opportunity many would take it up after school. The Ghajnsielem Redcoats are doing their part to introduce the game to hundreds of primary school students from all over Malta, it is now up to the other stakeholders to provide opportunities so that they start playing the game at club level.
IGETS is co-financed by the European Union. The Ghajnsielem Redcoats received assistance from the Ministry of Education and Employment through the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport & Voluntary Oragisations to meet its co-financing obligations.
Disclaimer: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.