WHO: The pilot program was delivered in partnership with the Għajnsielem Redcoats, a local sports organisation offering softball, baseball and basketball to its members. Run the Bases was joined by Stanley Doney (New Zealand), the current coach of the European Cup Winners Cup Champions (Olympia Haarlem) and the Dutch Softball Coach of the Year, and Tahli Moore (Australia), former NCAA Softball Player (James Madison University), to offer quality softball skills.
SUMMARY: The pilot spanned over five days and included 130 participants aged 6-36 from two different primary schools and four different local softball teams. With support from Sport Malta, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and the European Softball Federation (ESF), who donated the necessary equipment, some of the primary school children were able to play softball for the very first time.
RESULTS: The Redcoats' great response during the goal-setting sessions demonstrates the enormous potential that softball as a sport can have in breaking gender barriers. Not only has this pilot validated the mission of RTB, it also confirms the importance of offering athletes equal coaching in both skills and values. It also served as a useful starting point for academic investigation. RTB will use the results of their research to start building a strong body of academic literature to disseminate educational materials in the field of Sport for Development.
WHO: The Gambia program was delivered in association with Football 4 Peace.
SUMMARY: The program included 16 days of training for both young people and local coaches. Run the Bases worked in four different communities, reaching over 800 children. The aim of the project was to develop the knowledge of local coaches in order to build a sustainable sport program for girls. One of the ways RTB has engaged the local community is through the development of Baseball5 (a 5x5 format recently launched by the WBSC World Baseball Softball Confederation). On day 3, the entire coaching staff walked down to the beach for their first training session. With no field in sight, sticks and flip flops were the only tools necessary to draw bases in the sand. Keeping true to the essence of street ball, the coaches formed their own rules and made the beach their new field.
RESULTS: The pre-existing relationship between F4P Gambia and the local communities was a considerable advantage in understanding how to tailor the coaching sessions to the Gambian way of life. The group of eight coaches who were trained in the RTB methodology showed great improvement throughout the two weeks, taking the responsibility to lead sessions on their own by the end of the program. Many of them had never heard of softball or Baseball5, let alone played either of the games. This project has offered local coaches the opportunity to learn about a new sport that is ideally suited to promote gender inclusion.