The Seattle Mariners today announced applications are now open for high school baseball and softball programs in Washington and Oregon for an annual grant that provides a total of $50,000 a year to help pay for equipment, uniforms, field maintenance and other expenses associated with operating a successful program.
High school baseball and softball teams may apply for a Mariners Care Equipment Donation Grant by visiting Mariners.com/EquipmentGrant. Deadline to apply is November 12. Winners will be chosen by January and the funds awarded by the end of February.
“We believe the opportunity to play baseball and softball should be available to all young athletes, regardless of barriers they may face. Through this grant program, we have already provided $250,000 to 50 high school programs across Washington and in Oregon to help make organized, competitive play available to more kids across the region,” said Seattle Mariners Chair and CEO John Stanton.
A total of 10 programs will be chosen to receive $5,000 each. Any high school in the state of Washington or Oregon is eligible to apply. Preference will be given to schools that demonstrate financial need, including Title 1 school designation, and schools that are making efforts to ensure their baseball or softball programs are reflective of the broader school population.
As adequate funding for education continues to be a difficult challenge across the country, athletic programs, faced with shrinking budgets, are increasingly forced to rely on such tactics as crowdfunding and “pay to play” models that shift the burden to student athletes. By contributing to the costs of such things as uniforms, equipment, even field maintenance the Mariners Care grants ease the pressure on struggling programs and make it possible for more student athletes to participate.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has been challenging for all communities, has disproportionately affected people and communities already at greater risk of exclusion. Through the Equipment Donation Grant, the Mariners hope to ease financial burdens felt by many school districts during this difficult time.
The Mariners Care Grant is part of On BASE (Baseball And Softball Everywhere), a series of initiatives introduced in 2017 to bolster support for youth baseball and softball organizations in the Northwest. Other efforts include:
- Hometown Nine, a fellowship for baseball and softball players from King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties that offsets playing fees and provides mentorship and support for youth of color who want to play at an elite level;
- Seattle Mariners Grand Slam Camps that reach hundreds of kids throughout western Washington;
- Metro Parks Tacoma partnership that makes sports activities available to all K-5 students in Tacoma, including those in private schools or home schooled;
- Coaching clinics, in partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance, and the #CHOOSERESPECT program in partnership with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
For more information about Mariners Care, including the equipment grant, please log onto Mariners.com/Community.