|© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
MLB International invites students to Play Ball! across China10/10/2007 5:03 PM ET
Major League Baseball International (MLBI) will launch its grassroots youth baseball program, Play Ball!, in five cities across China this fall, it was announced today. The program will be incorporated into the physical education curriculum for students aged eight-to-12 in 120 elementary schools in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin and Wuxi.
Play Ball! China is set to reach more than 100,000 elementary school students in the 2007-08 school year alone. Participating students will be introduced to the rules of the game and instructed on developing their baseball skills as part of their in-school physical education programs.
"The Major League Baseball International Play Ball! Program will put bats and balls into the hands of hundreds of thousands of young players in China in the coming years," said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. "We are committed to baseball's future in China and the Play Ball! Program promises to play an important role in China's emergence as a baseball-playing nation."
"Baseball has been developing for a long time in China," said Ganbei Lin, Sports and Culture Director of the Beijing Education Bureau. "MLB's current promotion of baseball will be a big help toward Chinese youth and the enthusiasm for sports, not only in spurring the growth of baseball but also for pouring new energy into the development of Chinese youth sports."
Nagase Kenko Corporation will serve as an official supplier of Play Ball! China. The world-renowned Kenko Air Safety BaseballTM, combining the performance of a real baseball with greater safety and durability, will be the only baseball used in the program.
In preparation for the first season of Play Ball! China, MLBI has conducted coaching clinics for more than 400 university and grade school-level physical education teachers in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai this past summer. Led by Rick Dell, Director of China Baseball Development for Major League Baseball International, six American baseball coaches with extensive international experience instructed the prospective Play Ball! coaches on basic baseball skills and coaching techniques. At the conclusion of the clinics, MLBI donated all used equipment to support baseball in the local communities. MLBI has hired ZOU Marketing to provide support in the planning and execution of the clinics and Play Ball! program launch. (See below for more information on ZOU Marketing.)
About Play Ball!
About MLB International
About Nagase Kenko Corporation
About ZOU Marketing
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.