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The Canadian Press

A curriculum developed by Baseball Canada is being used to help teach the game to Egypt's first youth baseball league. American-based Because Baseball, a non-profit organization, is running the league and is making use of Baseball Canada's Winterball program. It's the first time the curriculum has been used by another country. "The first time you've been exposed to baseball, kids could be afraid of getting hit by the baseball. When you receive a ground ball or a fly ball, you may have the fear of being injured," said Andre Lachance, business, sport development and women's national team director at Baseball Canada. "But the Winterball program makes it … almost free of risk. When you do something and you are safe, it is easier to continue playing the sport and have success." Because Baseball's league of eight-to-12-year-olds learns the skills featured in Winterball, which is part of the physical education curriculum for schools across Canada. Winterball aims to introduce the basic skills of baseball. "We put a high premium and a high value on skill development," said Lachance. "The link is more towards having fun; we call that stage of development FUN-dementals. We see through research that if you make that first experience a positive one, kids will stick with the sport." Because Baseball's youth league plays on soccer fields, on pavement and anywhere else a baseball diamond can be created. "The Winterball curriculum gives students from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop baseball skills, increase hand-eye co-ordination and learn tenets of good sportsmanship, all the while promoting an active and healthy lifestyle," said Kemp Gouldin, founder and president of Because Baseball. Gouldin, who was introduced to Lachance through mutual connections, said Lachance was supportive of Because Baseball's mission and they found alignment in their work through the Winterball curriculum. "One of the cool things is watching the kids cheer each other on,"…
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