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July 8, 2011 > Jr. Giants league a success

Jr. Giants league a success

Submitted By Lt. Sheryl Boykins, Hayward PD

City of Hayward-sponsored Jr. Giants baseball program is geared for children in our community who would not ordinarily have access to a structured baseball program. Hayward Police Department, in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants baseball club, Hayward Area Recreation District (HARD) and, for the first time HUSD, has sponsored the Jr. Giants Program for 13 years, which take place throughout the summer months.

Generally the participants are 5-15 year-olds who may not excel in a structured competitive sports league, but may thrive in this less competitive atmosphere. Rookie Ball encourages character development over winning; it fosters the attitude that the effort is as important as crossing home plate. All children play every position regardless of their ability. Respect for the game and the promotion of self-esteem is more important than keeping score. This program is free to any child who wishes to participate.

The San Francisco Giants supply the T-shirt and baseball cap uniforms and equipment. The City of Hayward Police Department's responsibility includes supplying adult supervision in the form of police officers coaches, and training the junior coaches. HARD supports our efforts with use and maintenance of the park. In strengthening the community relationship, the police department hires the coaches from the community.

We employ four to five youth coaches age 16-20, who live or attend school in Hayward. They are encouraged to model the concept of placing higher value on character than on wins or losses. This year we have partnered with HUSD's "Let's Do Lunch Hayward" program, and offer free breakfast and lunch to all participants. The first week of the program has over 300 of our Hayward kids signed-up.

The league started Monday, June 20, and runs through Wednesday, August 11. All games are played at Stanley Field at Weekes Park, starting at 8 a.m., running up until 1:30 p.m. Jr. Giants hot line is 510-293-3333.

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