(Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium - Vancouver, B.C.) - Curious passersby have been peeking through the fences around Scotiabank Field as of late wondering why there are still bats cracking and gloves popping even with the Vancouver Canadians on the road.
One look into sunny Nat Bailey Stadium and you will likely see more than 200 local children enjoying a summer night learning the game of baseball as part of the Vancouver Canadians Baseball League.
Now into its second season, the VCBL hosts local children from across the Lower Mainland in hopes of raising awareness of the game as well as providing skills that won't just help them on the diamond, but hopefully in life as well.
In partnership with The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, these bright, young children will play a five-game season and also have the chance for a season-ending wrap-up that will include taking in a Vancouver Canadians baseball game.
Thanks to your ongoing support, these children receive complimentary transportation, supper, equipment and the chance to play baseball at historic Scotiabank Field all summer long.
"Every child should have the opportunity to play team sports," states Jake Kerr who owns the Vancouver Canadians along with business partner Jeff Mooney.
"Team sports such as baseball teach kids invaluable life lessons - how to win, how to lose, the importance of staying active - and they build self-confidence. We believe no child should be denied this experience because of reasons outside of their control".
The Vancouver Canadian Baseball Foundation has received support both from the corporate community as well as its ever growing fan base that have helped with both monetary donations as well as volunteering time on the diamond.
Vancouver's local media as also gotten involved with Global BC's Sophie Lui, Shanel Pratap and Jay Durant joining CBC's Shane Foxman, City TV anchor Dawn Chubai and Vancouver Sun columnist Greg Douglas out at the ballpark to mentor many of these young players.
"What the Canadians are doing to give back to the community is pretty impressive," says CBC sports anchor Shane Foxman who can be found coaching kids out at the ballpark throughout the summer.
The Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation is quick to point out the efforts of sponsors like Scotiabank, BC Hydro, The Sports Exchange and a number of fans both from the corporate sector and local fan base that have helped the VCBL thrive.
"We have had a lot of support the past few years and it's incredibly humbling," states Vancouver Canadians Community Relations Director Jeff Holloway.
"A story that sticks with me is 8-year old Joel Guralnick who saved up all of his birthday money and brought it to the stadium to donate to our league. The fact he chose to help a young child, probably around his own age, get the opportunity to play baseball this summer was really inspiring".
If you would like to learn more about the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation and its efforts in our community, click here.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.