Club from the Boys & Girls Club of Saskatoon Competed in the Jr. RBI Classic at MLB All-Star Week
TORONTO, July 17, 2014 /CNW/ - A team of 12 11-and-12 year-old boys from Saskatoon – all members of the Boys & Girls Club of Saskatoon – returned home yesterday after representing the TORONTO BLUE JAYS at the Jr. RBI Classic, part of All-Star Week festivities in Minneapolis, Minn.
Selected by JAYS CARE FOUNDATION to represent the Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League program, team members had been training since March, and were outfitted in Blue Jays uniforms and provided with suitcases from Heys for their trip to the MLB All-Star Week festivities.
"The opportunities aren't there for them," said Heidi Carl, director of programs for the Boys & Girls Club of Saskatoon. "These boys come from low-income families. We have a lot of boys on our team who lack positive male role models. The confidence that they've gained from their participation since March has been huge."
In addition to playing in the JR. RBI Classic round-robin tournament, Blue Jays team members enjoyed All-Star Week Festivities, including the Futures Game and Home Run Derby, and participated in charitable endeavors, such as packing food kits for hungry children.
"The 2012 Jr. RBI Classic was such a powerful experience for the team we sent from Toronto Community Housing - we wanted to make sure we shared this once in a lifetime experience with Rookie Leagues from beyond the GTA," says Danielle Bedasse, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation. "The Boys and Girls Club of Saskatoon has been such a vibrant, engaged and excited group of kids. We know this experience will go a long way for these kids, their families, the club and the greater Saskatoon community. We are so excited to hear their stories!"
"[The Rookie League] program has been such an amazing opportunity for my son. We live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and my son's team was chosen this year to attend the events in Minneapolis," said Marylea Lacerte, whose son was chosen to represent the Blue Jays. "I'm sure they are all going to come back home changed from this experience."
"The Blue Jays are tremendously proud of the accomplishments of these young men from Saskatoon," said Stephen Brooks, Senior Vice President, Business Operations, Toronto Blue Jays. "The opportunity to come together as a team, and compete in a tournament such as the Jr. RBI Classic, is something that will no doubt encourage them to strive for success as they move through adolescence and into adulthood. We congratulate them on representing the Blue Jays, and all of Canada, in Minneapolis."
About Jays Care Foundation
As the charitable arm of Canada's only MLB team, Jays Care has made a Major League commitment to invest in Canadian children and communities from coast to coast. Since 1992, Jays Care Foundation has created opportunities for children and youth through programs that focus on helping kids get active, engage in the sport of baseball, excel academically and lead healthy lives. Jays Care is committed to breaking down barriers to access sport and education and building safe, dedicated spaces for recreational and educational youth programming in communities across Canada.
For more information, visit www.bluejays.com/jayscare, follow @JaysCare on Twitter, 'like' Jays Care on Facebook, or call (416) 341-1456.
SOURCE: Toronto Blue Jays
For further information: Toronto Blue Jays Communications Department, (416) 341-1302/03,