Press release Major League Baseball
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced that “Fun At Bat” (www.funatbat.org), the introductory and character building bat-and-ball program designed for use in physical education (P.E.) classes, will now be available to more than 2,000 elementary school students in Ibiuna, Brazil. The free program, which is currently reaching nearly 3.5 million children in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Mexico and in London, will be administered in Brazil by Brazilian Baseball and Softball Confederation (CBBS) and Ibiuna City Hall, with support from both MLB and USA Baseball.
A joint MLB and USA Baseball youth program, Fun At Bat promotes fun and active lifestyles for children, while also teaching the fundamental skills of bat-and-ball sports. The program, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, also includes a literacy component focusing on character development and teaching traits such as leadership, teamwork and responsibility. Fun At Bat is part of the PLAY BALL initiative (www.PlayBall.org) – the sport’s largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal and casual forms of play. Since the initiative’s launch in 2015, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has reported a 55% increase in casual baseball participation in the United States.
“The interest of baseball and softball within Brazil is a great growth opportunity for our sport,” said Tony Reagins, Executive Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development, Major League Baseball. “With Fun At Bat delivered in an academic environment, the program gives kids a chance to be closely engaged with the game while also learning about developing positive leadership and teamwork characteristics. We appreciate the partnership we have with USA Baseball as we introduce kids in Brazil to the sport at its most basic levels, which we believe will be the beginning of a lifelong passion for baseball and softball.”
“We are excited to expand the Fun At Bat program to the students and teachers in Brazil,” said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. “The program continues to serve as a fun, safe environment for students to learn the sport in countries all across the globe and we look forward to continuing to work with Major League Baseball and the Brazilian Baseball & Softball Federation to bring the program to more schools throughout Brazil.”
The expansion of Fun At Bat to Brazil is MLB’s latest efforts to grow the game among young people throughout the world. Specifically in Brazil, in 2019 and 2020, MLB has held PLAY BALL events in multiple cities throughout the country, which is a continuation of youth-focused programs held throughout the years by MLB.