Baseball to get a big push in schools
A STRONGER baseball program in schools may be expected with the signing of an agreement between the Department of Education (DepEd) and Little League Baseball Philippines (LLP).
Assistant Education Secretary Tonisito Umali said they hoped that through the agreement, which aims to promote baseball, the country would have a more comprehensive program that would help young players excel in the sport.
“We hope that our performance when we join leagues and competitions outside the country will be further enhanced,” Umali said.
Under the agreement, LLP will provide coaches with rule books, training materials and other resources so the country can come up with a “solid development program and an efficient and safe tournament.”
LLP is an authorized representative of the United States-based Little League Baseball International, one of the largest youth sports organizations in the world with a membership of over 2 million players.
The DepEd will assist LLP in coordinating with national sports associations, especially in the “technical management of the games,” among others.
During the signing of the memorandum of agreement, LLP donated to the DepEd 100 baseball bats, which, Umali said, they would distribute to schools that needed them.
LLP district administrator Jose Luis Gomez said that at present, most baseball players in the country were from Luzon. A few came from urban centers like the cities of Cebu, Iloilo and Zamboanga.
With the agreement, Gomez said, they would be able to avail themselves of the talent pool in the country’s 18 regions to promote baseball among children.
Gomez said, while most Filipinos were into basketball and volleyball, it was more difficult to excel in the two sports because height gave foreign players an advantage over Filipino players.
But in baseball, he said, height was not very important, pointing out that several of the sport’s star players were Asians, mainly from Japan and Taiwan.
Gomez said Filipinos also had excellent hand-eye coordination, which was needed in the sport. This “natural skill” of Filipinos, he said, was one of the reasons baseball would be a good fit for the country.
Among other sports that needed this skill were billiards and bowling, for which the Philippines had already produced the world’s greats—Efren “Bata” Reyes and Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno, respectively.
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