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Baseball Ontario hopes to hit home run with girls at area camp

Organization hosting clinic Saturday focused on hitting, throwing, catching, and base running; 'We believe helping girls achieve their goals through the benefit of sport is extremely important,' says official
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Baseball Ontario's mission is to grow the game and officials hope an upcoming camp this weekend for young girls will be a hit in that regard.

The organization will host a girls clinic on Saturday, March 25 from 2-6 p.m., at The Warehouse, located in the city's south end at 49 Truman Rd.

The clinic is designed for girls aged eight to 16 years old and no baseball experience is required. It will focus on hitting, throwing, catching, and base-running.

"We are looking to grow the game, bring gender equity to our sport, and engage girls in physical activity and sport," said Baseball Ontario executive director Mary-Ann Smith.

The cost is $39 per participant. Registration can be done by clicking here.

"Our camps are run at indoor baseball facilities where we create a safe, inclusive environment to learn and practice the fundamentals of baseball, with instruction delivered by current and former women’s provincial and nationals team players and coaches," Smith said. 

In 2019, Smith says female players represented one per cent of all rep- and select-level of rostered players. Female coaches represented two per cent of all rep and select rostered coaches, and female umpires represented four per cent of all certified umpires in Ontario. 

"Before COVID, we were working to grow these numbers, but at this point we’re not even back to 2019 numbers," Smith added. 

According to Baseball Ontario, 41 per cent of girls between the ages of three and 17 don’t participate in sports, and by the age of 14 girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys. By age 17, 51 per cent of girls will have quit playing sports and 84 per cent of women don’t participate in sports.

Comparatively, the organization says 94 per cent of female CEOs played sports and 74 per cent say a background in sports can help accelerate a woman’s career. Additionally, 61 per cent believe sport involvement has contributed to their career success. 

"We believe helping girls achieve their goals through the benefit of sport is extremely important," Smith said.