Inner city children as young as four and up to 15 years old continue to use baseball as a tool for both sport, physical fitness and character development thanks to the Mario Ford Baseball Program and financial support from sponsors such as Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO). Now in its 37th year, the programme is celebrated for the ongoing mentorship and multi-level real-world readiness learnt along with baseball skills.
Founder of the Mario Ford Baseball Program, Mario Ford, underscored that “baseball teaches life”. “A lot of the kids who came through my programme have gone on to play professionally after going off to school. During the Mario Ford Program, participants not only learn baseball skills but gain an understanding of the importance of education, discipline, sportsmanship, and the benefits of good character.”
CWCO’s donation afforded 30 Mario Ford Program participants the opportunity to attend the recent ‘Don’t Blink Home Run Derby’ baseball clinic hosted on Paradise Island. The event highlighted current Bahamian professional baseball players along with some of baseball’s top major and minor league players from around the world. During the clinic, participants were drilled at various skill positions, including hitting, fielding, pitching and baserunning.
“With help from Consolidated Water, we were able to outfit our kids with shirts and rent a bus to the event,” said Coach Ford. He added that financial support is crucial for the programme and goes a long way to ensure every child has equipment like proper shoes and a glove. CWCO General Manager, Henderson Cash, was happy to hear about the youngsters’ excitement during the clinic and applauded Coach Ford for maximizing the benefits of playing baseball.
“We recognize that baseball is more than swinging a bat and hitting home runs. Through programmes like the one headed by Mario Ford, education and good character are just as important as game wins.
“CWCO is proud to support initiatives that develop youth and will continue to support the vision of the Mario Ford Program,” Mr. Cash said.