Physical activity in children: let them ALL play ball

I frequently write about the importance of physical activity in children. Our kids need at least 60 minutes of big muscle movement each day to keep them healthy and their bodies at a healthy weight.

Participation in team sports such as soccer, hockey and baseball is a great way for children to meet their daily physical activity requirement as well as learning the valuable life skills of leadership, teamwork and sharing. But not all parents can afford the sky-rocketing cost of extracurricular activities.

Last week, I was contacted by a representative of The Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation (VCBF) to help spread the word about a new program designed to help change that (thanks for thinking of me Liz!). Starting Thursday, July 5th, over 300 Lower Mainland children will be playing ball where their idols do, at Nat Bailey Stadium. The VCBF will provide transportation, meals, equipment and more importantly, an atmosphere that fosters personal and athletic development to these young children. What a great way to promote organized physical activity in children who may not have the opportunity to participate in team sports otherwise!

Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation

Photo courtesy of Liz Sauvé of Jive Communications

According to their press release materials,

“The Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation (VCBF) believes that every child has the right to play ball regardless of conditions that are beyond their control. This belief, combined with the vision of helping youth find self-confidence, hope, improved health, and a skill set that will help not just on a baseball diamond, but in life, has lead to the creation of the first-ever mini league of its kind in North America.

Starting Thursday July 5, in association with the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, VCBF will bring more than 300 children from across the Lower Mainland to the historic Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium to play ball for the first time.

Over a seven-week period, a total of six games will be played in an atmosphere that promotes collaboration and a spirit of fair play. Children, who might not have an opportunity to play baseball otherwise, will be coached and mentored by local sports personalities and community figures. They will receive free equipment they get to keep (glove, bag, helmet, etc.), free meals, free transportation to and from the stadium as well as a weekly ‘talk’ by an elite level athlete or inspiring leader geared to promoting self esteem and leadership skills.

“The life lessons and confidence developed through team sports such as baseball are invaluable to a child’s development,” says Jeff Mooney, Chairman of VCBF. “We believe every child should have access to this regardless of external conditions beyond their control. Our mini baseball league removes all barriers and allows a child to play, grow and make memories that will last a lifetime.” The program is the first of its kind by any major or minor league club in North America.

“The response we had from children wanting to be a part of this program was overwhelming. We cannot wait to see their faces when they get onto the field for the first time,” says Carolyn Tuckwell, President & CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC.

The VCBF mini summer league opens Thursday July 5th at 4:30pm at Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium (media are invited to attend opening day).

Subsequent games are Wednesday July 11, Wednesday July 18, Friday, July 27, Friday August 10, and Friday August 17. Each session runs 4:30 – 6:30pm, except Friday August 17 from 1:00 – 4:00pm.

The mini league will consist of two divisions. All children ages 6-8, will be in the “T-Ball” division while all children ages 9-11 will be in the “Coach-Pitch” division.

For more information visit the VCBF website.”

I’ll be taking my family ‘out to the ballgame’ later this summer and can’t wait to share my childhood memories of attending Game 7 of the Detroit Tigers 1984 World Series win with them!

Do your children participate in team sports?

What have they (and you!) learned from the experience?

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with VCBF and am posting this information as a public service announcement. They did offer to send me tickets to a game in return though; you can bet I’ll be going!

Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.

Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.


  1. This is a really great initiative Tamara. I do think that all children should engage in sports as this is great for the body and mind.
    Mariella Lombardi recently posted…Forgive Me Glenn, For I Have Sinned…on My Luxury VacationMy Profile

    • Totally agree! That’s why I was so happy to promote it! And who doesn’t love a good baseball game (minus the beer and nachos!)

  2. What an amazing organization – I love any programs that encourage kids to get active, as it sets them up so well for lifelong fitness! Combine that with focus on kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to play and I really love it! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Thank you Heather for commenting and sharing! The more people that hear about it the better!

  3. That is awesome! I love motivating and moving kids through sport or just good ole’ activity (playing ball, jumping rope, playing on the monkey bars, etc…) because they are not apt to want to do traditional fitness as us adults subject ourselves, too.

    My daughter was in Tae Kwon Do. Since we moved, I need ot find her a new dojo. but she is thinking gymnastics right now. which is also just as good!
    Christine @ OatmealBowl recently posted…Clean Eating & At Home WODsMy Profile

    • My kids participate in Tae Kwon Do too. I love the combination of mental and physical discipline. Plus, my two oldest aren’t really team sports kind of kids (they want it to be all about them!) so martial arts fits the bill perfectly!

  4. Great initiative!

    My little brother and sisters are involved in group sports and love it!
    Kierston recently posted…Campground to Training Ground…My Profile

  5. My kids have played baseball 3 yrs in a row. I love that they are learning to win and lose gracefully. They are developing coordination and physical endurance. AND they learned perseverance when a task or skill didn’t come naturally. Organized sports is a good thing for kids!

    Going to major/minor league baseball games is also a good thing! My hubby and oldest son visited Fenway Park last week and watched a Red Sox game. Lots of fun memories were made!!

    • My youngest plays ball hockey and it has really helped him see the ‘bigger picture’ when it comes to team sports and winning. He just loves the game, regardless of the outcome!

  6. My girls are 5 and 3 (in a couple of weeks)…so they haven’t really done any team sports yet. However, they often play outdoors with their best buddies. They’re always on bikes and swimming. It’s really important to me to keep them active, because I know what it’s like to be an inactive child. It led to a lot of my own self esteem issues. Hannah (the oldest) has been nudging me in the direction of letting her get involved in ballet. I’m doing research on who’s the best in town…I have a slight fear of getting involved in a dance studio that will pressure her into poor habits/unhealthy body image. I want her to surrounded by people that will help her grow.
    Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run recently posted…Recipe: Almond Summer Berry Breakfast CakeMy Profile

    • Ooh, yes, be careful of which dance studio you choose. Some of them are ultra competitive, even for the very young. My daughter once tried ballet, but the pressure (on a 5 year old!) to look and behave a certain way turned her off.

  7. You are such a great mom and I am proud of your accomplishments!
    Talia @ Bite Size Wellness recently posted…Gnu Foods Fiber Bar GiveawayMy Profile

  8. I am with Talia & YOU ARE AWESOME Tamara. A great post & yes, let kids play! I only will say that the parents need to learn to stop getting all crazy at games & make sure the kids do NOT see unacceptable behavior from the adults! We have seen to many news stories about that….
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted…Cola Cleans Toilets; Baking Soda & Vinegar Party!My Profile

    • So right Jody. I did see a bit of that with Adam’s ball hockey team this spring. And from one of the coaches, no less! My attitude is always, have fun, enjoy the game, it’s a bonus if you win!

  9. What a great initiative. I wholeheartedly agree with you about the importance of physical activity in children and also of having the opportunity to participate in team sports. Love this all around.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Friday Round-UpMy Profile

  10. late to this BUT BUT they are very lucky to have you on board.
    Miz recently posted…Meditation doesnt change things.My Profile