NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Two outreach programs geared toward young athletes in Norfolk hope to decrease the number of those spending time on the streets.
Officer Ali Williams with the Norfolk Police Departments heads up the department's Badges for Baseball program, but it's not the city's only way for young residents to get involved in the sport. Recreation, Parks and Open Space's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program also gets kids and teens interested.
In addition to increasing interest in the sport of baseball, the programs are utilized to encourage academic participation and achievement and promote greater inclusion of minorities in the game.
There are several events added to the agenda in 2013. Officer Williams told WAVY.com a Skills Clinic has been added as well as a Pitch-Hit-Run competition. And everyone who signs up will receive free tickets to see Norfolk State University play the Norfolk Tides on April 2.
Christopher Joyce of Norfolk State University will be on hand at the Skills Clinic.
"The program is a perfect opportunity for Norfolk youth to increase their skills in baseball, promote teamwork, help make healthy food choices, exercise and give them a sense of belonging to something great," Williams told WAVY.com. "Many of the players would say that BB/RBI gave them an alternative to the streets."
Williams added past participants enjoyed being mentored and interacting with police officers during the programs.
"This is great because many of them have had a negative perception of police and authority as a whole."
RBI Baseball and Softball is tailored toward those aged 5 to 18 and signups are continuing until March 29. For more information, click here or call 757-441-5834/5835.
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