LLRIB and Jays Care Foundation form partnership to create rookie league

By Derek Cornet
January 10, 2019 - 2:00pm

Thanks to funding by the Jays Care Foundation, a coordinator will be hired to organize a rookie baseball league to start in early May.

The funding was officially announced last week at the Lac La Ronge Indian Band’s (LLRIB) youth conference, where a Jays Care Foundation delegation made a presentation to attendees. The band is now actively searching to hire a coordinator, which will be for an approximately five-month term. According to Kevin Roberts, the director of sports and recreation, all LLRIB communities including Grandmother’s Bay, Hall Lake, Little Red River, Stanley Mission and Sucker River will be involved.

“It’s not going be a typical competitive sports league we’re sometimes familiar with,” he said. “It’s more of an initiative to get kids engaged, especially under privileged youth. There will be some competition aspects to it, but overall it won’t be anything serious.”

The league will also be open to children in a wide range of ages. Roberts noted the league could be set up in a way where the older athletes practice earlier in the day, then assist the younger ones afterwards and serve as mentors. He added another aspect to the league is creating community involvement, so teams will be given points for bringing family members or elders to watch the games.

Last summer, the Jays Care Foundation sent some of its national program facilitators to several LLRIB communities for week-long baseball camps. Roberts said the foundation was happy to see the band was able to create enough interest and had enough staff or volunteers to put it all together. He stated hiring a coordinator to start a league this year is the beginning of a partnership between the two groups.

“A lot of the credit goes to the director of education (Simon Bird) and his staff,” Roberts said. “They made the contacts, did the groundwork and passed it on to the recreation department.”

Anyone interested in apply for the coordinator position must do so by Feb. 8. The successful candidate will also need to attend a three-day training session with Jays Care in Toronto at the onset of employment. Experience in physical activity or recreation is strongly recommended.

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