Run the Bases Stages First Ever Softball Tournament in Gunjur
As the final out was made at the first RTB Softball tournament in The Gambia, it was a good chance to review and reflect on what has been achieved in the past few weeks. It’s hard to say who has worked harder between the coaches and the children, with both parties improving so much. What we do know for sure is that the dedication and passion we have witnessed amongst all those involved will be the defining factor that ensures sustainable development of the sport once we leave. As we are already planning to return in 2019, we rest assured that the local communities will start developing the sport and making it their own. We are eager to see the impact we believe this will have on the communities.
The whole Run the Bases team would like to thank the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) for providing the equipment that was used during the programme. Without this equipment the project would not have been possible to run. The four communities have now each received a full equipment bag in order to keep developing and growing the game.
The biggest highlights of the programme were definitely the final competitions. The first one, played at Kajabang pitch, was created for the children to show off all the softball skills they have learned. Drawing in over 200 people from four different communities (Kartong, Madina Salam, Berending and Gunjur), this tournament saw eight mixed teams play four rounds, a semi-final and a final which eventually saw team Red 2 come out victorious. Prizes were also awarded for Best Communication, Best Leadership and Best Team Player.
The second event, held in Berending village, was Baseball5 match between two mixed teams of local coaches. Once again, the event attracted considerable interest amongst members of the community who came out to watch as they faced off in the village square. Our onsite photographer Caylee Hankins caught all the action - smiling faces, acrobatic catches , and the sheer athleticism of the local players. You can find all of this and more on our social media channels, and follow both us and Caylee for more incredible content!
We also want to thank to all those who have donated, assisted or helped in any way to make this project possible. You should know every contribution has been invaluable and it has helped make real positive change in the world. We hope you will continue on this journey with us, making the world a better place one game of softball at a time.
We are sure to return to The Gambia, and urge you to do so to. Although thanks to your help, by the time you get there it may not only be the Smiling Coast of Africa...but the Smiling Coast of Softball as well!
all photos by Caylee Hankins