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Nakuru County Youngsters now embracing baseball

Nakuru has only one junior baseball team, seeks to train more

Alice in Africa Baseball Academy players pose for a photo. This is the only junior baseball team which is sponsored by Alice in Africa Safaris. This situation is however expected to change as more youngsters in primary schools embrace this game. John Gitonga, a Nakuru based coach says a good number of girls in primary schools have also shown great interest in the game which had so far been viewed as a boys' game.

Alice in Africa Baseball Academy players pose for a photo. This is the only junior baseball team which is sponsored by Alice in Africa Safaris. This situation is however expected to change as more youngsters in primary schools embrace this game. John Gitonga, a Nakuru based coach says a good number of girls in primary schools have also shown great interest in the game which had so far been viewed as a boys’ game.

Nakuru could soon be hosting county baseball competitions for young players once an ambitious programme by a baseball academy to train local schools in the county bears fruit.

Alice in Africa Baseball Academy which is sponsored by Alice in Africa Safaris has been the only baseball team in Nakuru.

However, there are more schools still at the grassroots level undergoing baseball training.

This will see the rise of inter-schools teams and county competitions in the near future.

Currently, St Thomas Aquinas Primary School in Njoro, is one of the schools undergoing training in baseball.

This raises the hope of having a team to compete with Alice in Africa baseball team in Nakuru County.

Andrew Thuku, the sponsor of the baseball academy however says that the team has been travelling to other counties like Nairobi to hold friendly matches, which he says is a bit expensive.

“We usually go for competitions and challenges with teams from Nairobi where we converge at playing grounds in Limuru.

COMPETING CHALLENGES

But the main challenge is that we still do not have young players to compete with.

The rivals are far much older and even though we sometimes win the game, it is still a challenge,” Andrew said.

“Involving the team players in training new players in neighbouring schools will not only sharpen the skills of players but will also give them a chance to train other teams to compete with,” Andrew says.

The baseball academy is currently training players from neighbouring schools.

Two months ago, the team from Nakuru had travelled to Limuru where they competed against Olympic Secondary School and a team from Kibera.

NEW SPORT

“Being a new sport in the school, we have so many pupils showing interest in it and we intend to train all of them before selecting players who can compete in inter-school competitions,” John Gitonga, a Nakuru based coach said.

While most of the baseball players currently participating in local competitions are boys, Mr Gitonga says a great number of girls have also shown interest in the game.

“Sometimes girls tend to shy away and even show disinterest in the game when they are discouraged.

But in our school, a large number of girls as compared to boys have registered for training because all we are required to do is to assure them that success in this sport depends on the willingness of players,” Mr Gitonga says.

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