The City Government of Muntinlupa, through the Social Services Department (SSD) and Early Childhood Education Divison (ECED), pioneers Kiddie Baseball Program in the Philippines. This program was made possible in cooperation with the Junior Baseball and Softball Foundation of the Philippines (JBSFP) and the Youth Affairs and Sports Development Office (YASDO) of Muntinlupa City.
Kiddie Baseball Program is a project where kids ages 3-4 years old will be introduced to baseball by playing teeball and kickball. Every Friday, children will have 2-3 sessions of training to be led by their teachers who were also trained by the Junior Baseball and Softball foundation of the Philippines. Coaches from the foundation will also observe the weekly baseball sessions to see how the teachers facilitate the training.
In the launching of the program and turnover of equipment at Ayala Malls South Park last September 24, 2019, hundreds of kids together with their parents and teachers attended. Out of the 8,600 enrolled pre-kindergarten students, 850 of them agreed to join the Kiddie Baseball Program.
Atty. Jojay Alcaraz, the founder of the Junior Baseball and Softball Foundation of the Philippines, emphasized the importance of the program, pointing out its objective of seeing and developing the potential of kids in baseball at a young age. He mentioned the achievements of Muntinlupa in baseball, being the representative of NCR in the recently held Palarong Pambansa. He also shared his story—how baseball was able to pave the way for his child to get a full scholarship in a prestigious school in the Philippines and even compete internationally. He believes that this can be the case of every child who joined in Kiddie Baseball Program of the City Government of Muntinlupa.
“Sports disciplines our children”, said Ms. Cynthia Viacrusis, the head of YASDO in emphasizing the importance of this program for the kids. She also said that with this program, kids will be prepared to pursue a career in baseball. Citing the goal of the city government to have complete sports facilities which will make Muntinlupa the sports tourism capital of the Philippines, she mentioned that the baseball field the City Government is currently building in Tunasan will be used as the training ground for students who joined the program.
As to the reason why the program focuses on pre-kindergarten students, Ms. Jenny Deuda, acting division chief of ECED, said that the formative years of a child starts at the age 0-6. This is the perfect stage to introduce sports to kids to help them be physically active and disciplined. She also encouraged the parents to support their children in joining such a wonderful program for sports which will allow them to see the potential in their children.
“As there is no height requirement or body build required in baseball, Filipinos can compete internationally with their fast and agile bodies which is highly important in baseball,” said Edward Flores, Head Coach of JBSFP.
He also believes that with the project, Muntinlupa will be able to produce high-performing baseball athletes who will be able to join the ranks of Muntinlupeños competing internationally, products of the City Government’s Barangay Grassroots Program.
Overall, this Kiddie Baseball Program launched by the City Government of Muntinlupa will practically give opportunities for young Muntinlupenos to have a sports career of their own and will promote discipline among children. With the support of their parents and the ongoing infrastructures for sports that the government is allotting them, this project will hopefully be a training ground for future award-winning athletes not just in the Philippines, but internationally as well.
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