This fall, volunteers from across the Little League® Europe and Africa Region joined together with leaders of the baseball and softball industry for two weekends of exciting events.
On October 26-27, Little League District Administrators (D.A.s) from more than 15 countries throughout the region joined together with leadership from various baseball and softball organizations in the area for a regional meeting in Warsaw, Poland. Just one week later, the Little League Czech Republic hosted a Little League Softball® clinic in Prague, Czech Republic, on November 3-4.
“Bringing together our volunteers from across the region is always a special occasion as we continue to grow together as an organization and grow the game of baseball and softball around the world,” said Beata Kaszuba-Baker, Little League Europe and Africa Region Director. “Having the opportunity to combine our dedicated volunteers with some of the top leaders from the baseball and softball world is a great step forward for the future of our organization and for the experience of our Little Leaguers throughout the entire region.”
As part of the regional meetings in October, nearly 20 District Administrators from throughout the Europe and Africa Region came together to discuss the status of their Little League programs, share new ideas and practices, provide insight on rules and regulations, and discuss ways to work together to expand the Little League program throughout the region. In addition to the numerous volunteer D.A.s, the meeting featured special guests from Major League Baseball, The World Baseball Softball Confederation – Europe , Czech Baseball Association, , African Baseball and Softball Association, and Little League Regional and Headquarters staff.
One week later, the Little League Europe and Africa Region worked with Little League Czech Republic to host an exciting two-day softball clinic for players, coaches, and parents throughout the Czech Republic. Led by former Winthrop University Softball Head Coach, Mark Cooke, and Assistant Coach, Mike Scott, the clinic featured variety of softball fundamentals, skills, and tips that were taught to the parents and coaches before being implemented by those same volunteers to the more than 130 players in the Minor and Majors division over the course of two days.
“Having the opportunity to travel to the Czech Republic and see the love of the game was truly special,” said Sara Thompson, Little League Director of the Softball Development. “Our dedicated volunteers throughout the country, and throughout the entire Europe and Africa Region, have worked hard to continue to grow the game and develop the softball programs within their community. It is really encouraging to see the excitement on each of the player’s faces as they learn the different tips, tricks, and skills taught at these clinics that will help them to develop into stronger softball players in the future.”
Participants of the clinic had the opportunities to rotate between six different stations, including four fielding stations and a pair of hitting locations with various drills located within. Approximately 25-30 volunteer coaches attended the clinics on each day of the clinic, and at the conclusion of the two-day event, members of Czech Republic Northwest Little League hosted its tryouts with all of the participants and officially drafted its teams for the regular season.
“We were very happy to be able to host this clinic and see the positive impact it had on all of the coaches that participated,” said Vojtěch Albrecht, Little League Czech Republic District Administrator. “Most of the volunteer coaches who participated in the clinic had the opportunity to run each of the stations during the afternoon sessions, providing them with a chance to use in real practice what they learned in the morning sessions.”