WHO: Run the Bases Gambia represents the first international division of the RTB organisation. Founded shortly after the end of the project run in December 2018, local coaches have come together to create a programme that benefits their communities in the best way possible.
SUMMARY: Projects were carried out in 2017 and 2018, which involved Run the Bases staff and international coaches from Natasha Watley Foundation. Over the course of the two years, over 800 children have been impacted by this work. In the current format, 40 children from four different communities come together on a neutral ground to learn the sport, build relations and have fun. Moving away from traditional sports such as football, softball offers these children and young athletes the possibility to create a gender-neutral environment, where everyone is starting from the same point. Furthermore, the introduction of the streetball format allows for a less formal, but much more community-engaging version of the sport. Adopting the Streetball 5 rules (based on the idea recently launched by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC)) means the game can be played whenever and wherever, with the only requirements being a ball and love for the game.
RESULTS: The incredible enthusiasm and passion of the local coaches has made it possible to start planning for a year-round programme to be established in the Gambia. Working at the same time on community cohesion and gender equality, while also ensuring strong knowledge of the rules of the game and how to play it, this project will be run and administered by members of the local communities. These administrators, who will also be in position as trained RTB coaches, have in-depth knowledge of what the youngsters need, and how we can help them reach their objectives.
The Gambian population have seen what baseball and softball is about, and now they can’t get enough. They have seen the incredible power it has to bring communities and different people together. Together, we can create a sustainable future, in which everyone has access to the sport, regardless of race, gender or ability.
Past Work Malta
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.