by Play Global!
Baseball Le’Kulam, which means Baseball for All in Hebrew, is taking a new turn in 2018. As in past years, this program brings Arab Israeli and Jewish Israeli kids together through baseball. These boys and girls, ages 10-12, are totally new to baseball. They succeed and fail together as beginners.
The program has two sites for its weekly practices. In Southern Israel, kids in Be’ersheba are getting their first taste of baseball. They attend an integrated Arab-Jewish school, and baseball will give them the chance to form a deeper connection. In the north, Misgav is the community where kids who attend separate Arab and Jewish schools are learning baseball with their classmates. After a short time, the two groups will come together and practice as a team.
So far, young players are learning the basics of throwing, catching and hitting. At both sites, the emphasis is on having fun.
Coach Afik Bogatin says,
“The idea that they have to play as a team is the most powerful factor, which makes them work together. I try to make them understand how important their cooperation is. Soon, all of them start to feel a sense of belonging and build respect for each other.”
When asked about his young players, Coach Afik mentions one boy who is often in trouble at school. At baseball practice, however, he’s a model player. All he wants to do is keep playing. In just a few weeks, he has developed a passion for the game.
In the spring, the two groups will meet for an overnight clinic near Tel Aviv. Play Global extends a special thanks to our great partners at the Israel Association of Baseball for helping this project succeed.