THE BRONX, N.Y. – Major League Baseball (MLB) and USA Baseball today announced the launch of “Fun At Bat After School” in a joint press conference at the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx, New York. Introduced exclusively in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Fun At Bat After School is an evolution of the landmark program that will continue teaching the fundamentals of bat-and-ball sports to youth of all ages outside of a classroom setting.
Beginning today, over 400 chapters of Boys & Girls Clubs of America in all 50 states will receive the free program, reaching nearly 35,000 kids. Participating clubs will receive an equipment kit, 50 “USA Baseball Championship Principles” books, a “Fun At Bat After School” guide to aid in the successful implementation of the program to their membership, and access to the free online instructor’s course on USA Baseball’s Online Education Center.
“We are thrilled that the reach of Fun At Bat will expand to after-school programs at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the United States,” said Tony Reagins, Chief Baseball Development Officer, Major League Baseball. “This is a perfect opportunity to continue our collective efforts to introduce baseball to kids at young ages in exciting and educational ways. We congratulate and thank both USA Baseball and Boys & Girls Clubs of America for making these moments happen for children in our communities.”
“From its inception, the Fun At Bat program has formed a tremendous foundation for introducing baseball to young kids and its impact has been evident in the growing participation in our sports in the last five-to-seven years,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “The launch of ‘Fun At Bat After School’ is a natural progression for the program as it will serve not only elementary-aged kids but pre-teens and teenagers who take part in the after-school programs offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. This program will allow us to move past just introducing bat-and-ball sports to youth, but to providing more opportunities for kids to focus on these skills as they continue to mature developmentally and personally.”
“We are excited to launch ‘Fun At Bat After-School’ this fall in our Boys & Girls Clubs and our affiliated Military Youth Centers around the world,” said Frank Sanchez, Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Vice President of Business and Community Affairs. “We appreciate Major League Baseball and USA Baseball’s continued support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America by providing fun and engaging programming that introduces our youth to baseball in a positive environment that promotes self-confidence and an active lifestyle.”
Following the announcement, members of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club demonstrated the activities from the Fun At Bat After School program for representatives from MLB, USA Baseball, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and members of the media.
Fun At Bat was launched in 2015 for physical education classes in schools to promote fun and active lifestyles for children while teaching the fundamental skills of bat-and-ball sports. The Fun At Bat program reaches nearly 4.4 million children across all 50 states, Washington DC., Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Mexico, London, and Brazil. The program is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and includes a literacy component focusing on character development and teaching traits such as leadership, teamwork, and responsibility.
This evolution of the Fun At Bat program continues the efforts by MLB and USA Baseball to grow the game at the grassroots level in a fun, active, and engaging environment for youth. Fun At Bat continues to be a staple program of MLB’s PLAY BALL initiative–the sport’s largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities–and has contributed to the ongoing upward trajectory of participation in baseball and softball since 2015.
ABOUT FUN AT BAT
Launched in 2015, Fun At Bat is an entry-level bat-and-ball program for kids with an emphasis on character development, functional movement, active play, and fun. The initiative stems from meticulous research on introductory youth sport programs and is supported by Major League Baseball, USA Baseball, and industry professionals. The Fun At Bat program is FREE for all participants and is part of MLB’s PLAY BALL initiative–the sport’s largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities. Fun At Bat currently reaches nearly 4.4 million children across all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Mexico, London, and Brazil.