The SOL Youth Baseball League is proud to announce that our home field, The John J. Wood "Field of Dreams", has recently received some amazing improvements. Thanks to the local electricity company, RECO (Roatan Electric Company), our field now has lights that will allow night games to be played! Through RECO's generous donation and with the assistance of Green Hill Energy Solutions, 4 posts, 18 lights and a transformer were installed!
SOL International Foundation is now in the process of organizing a 4-team tournament to include teams from La Ceiba, the capital city of Tegucigalpa,the nearby island of Utila, and of course the SOL International Roatan All-Stars. These teams of 12-13 year-old boys will play a round robin tournament on August 24-25 and a lighting ceremony will take place to dedicate the new lights. To our knowledge, this will mark the first time that a baseball game has been played under lights in Roatan!
Thanks to the support of the Roatan Rotary Club and 2 private donors, the "Field of Dreams" will also get a makeover before the tournament starts. Work is being done right now to construct a new backstop, 2 dugouts, spectator bleachers, and to complete the last 100' of the centerfield fence.
With the new lights and the additional spectator seating, we hope the John J Wood "Field of Dreams" will continue to become a popular community area that provides both children and adults with a positive environment to participate in organized sports activities. If you would like to contribute to this ongoing project's operating costs or the upcoming tournament, please make a donation to this Global Giving project!
SOL International Foundation Youth Baseball League just completed the season with our 15-16 year-old teams. The season came to a close with the Sandy Bay team taking on the CarWash team in a best of 7 game series. With Sandy Bay leading the series 3-2, we were forced to delay the final games by one week due to poor weather. Finally, on Saturday, February 4 Sandy Bay took home the championship with a 10-2 victory. We are seeing many of these boys develop into not only great baseball players, buy fine young men as well as they learn important lessons of sportsmanship and teamwork through organized baseball. Thanks to Alex Nelson from Ontario, Canada for his dedication as a volunteer coach for the CarWash team!
At the end of February we will now be starting up our younger league of 9-12 year-olds. We hope to have at least 4 teams, including the defending champions Horsepen Diamondbacks. The children are looking forward to getting back out on the field and practicing and playing games! This league is a coach-pitch league and requires a lot of assistance from volunteer coaches. It is a great opportunity for people to get involved with the children of Roatan and provide some positive adult interactions with these eager young boys and girls.
In other news, our Youth Baseball League recently received a donation of a 20' shipping container to use as storage unit for baseball equipment at the John J. Wood "Field of Dreams". We are now working on building shelves to organize bats, gloves, catcher's gear and other baseball equipment. Eventually we would like to modify the container so that it can also be used as our concession stand to sell hot dogs and sodas during the games. Thanks to Phillip Sampson for the generous donation!
If anyone plans on visiting Roatan, Honduras and is interested in bringing along some baseball equipment to help support this Youth League, please contact us for more information. PLAY BALL!
We stayed at the Hotel Paseo Delfin in La Ceiba, in the Teacher's Neighborhood a few blocks from the baseball field. The swimming pool and the seaside hammocks were a great place for the kids to hang out between games, practice, an interview with local news station, and the trip to the food court at the mall. The rules of the tournament and the style of baseball played was different than we were accustomed to, but the boys adapted as well as could be expected to the smaller rubber ball, the 3-inning games, and the 1-hour time limit. Although the Roatan All Stars lost their first two games, they came together as a team and bonded throughout the games. It was especially pleasing to see them pick each other up when one would get down on themselves for mistakes made or missed plays. These boys are quickly developing into fine young men!The second day of the tournament, rain threatened to cancel our final games. Luckily we met another coach from La Ceiba who was looking to play a friendly game with another team. So we jumped into the pick up trucks, gathered his team together and made our way to the field. After about an hour of field maintenance, the field was ready to play on. Both teams were equally excited to finally get to play a 7-inning hardball game, and our boys won in the last at-bat in the bottom of the 7th!Not even the wet ride in the pouring rain in the back of the truck to the airport, or even the airport closing due to bad weather could put a damper on their spirits. So we hurried to the ferry to catch the boat back to Roatan instead of flying home. We finally arrived home that evening tired, hungry, and wet.I would again like to thank you all personally for your contribution to the SOL Youth Baseball League through the Global Giving Open Challenge. Please know that through your contributions you have made a positive effect on the lives of these and other children involved in this program.
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