As part of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, the Parks and Recreation Department, United Way, Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia, and the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Play Ball initiative are partnering to host a one-day Summer Baseball Camp as part of national initiatives to get more children interested in the sport.

The RBI Summer Baseball Camp will be on June 10 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Historic Luther Williams Field. Children ages 5-17 can participate in this camp for free, and registration can be done online at www.maconbibb.us/rbiregistration or at the Parks and Recreation Office in Central City Park.

“Baseball has been successful in the past, and we’re seeing a resurgence in interest in the sport the past few years,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert. “Thanks to the work of the United Way and our own Parks and Recreation Department, we are able to reach children at a younger age, opening up a lifetime of involvement in America’s favorite pastime.”

“Numerous studies have proven that physical activity is vital to the holistic development of young people, fostering their physical, social and emotional health, and participation in sports is linked to higher grades, lower dropout rate, reduced truancy, and lower crime rates,” says George McCanless, President & CEO of United Way of Central Georgia. “I personally appreciate what a significant contribution sports have made to my life and how important a role my coaches played in my development, and I want to try and make sure every child can have those same opportunities.”

About RBI
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), sponsored by Major League Baseball, is a program designed to promote the game of baseball to teenage boys and girls in disadvantaged areas. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, RBI leagues are maturing in local Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) was founded in 1989 in South Central Los Angeles by former Major Leaguer John Young.

RBI has been embraced in many communities because it teaches kids that being a success in life takes more than succeeding on the ball field — it also means succeeding in the classroom and the community.

A large component of the partnership established in early 1997 between MLB and its official charity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA), was the merger and expansion of youth baseball and softball programs conducted separately by the two organizations.

Off the field, local leagues also teach RBI players life skills through Quick SMART! – a condensed, easy-to-use version of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s award winning SMART (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) Moves program.

Developed for RBI, Quick SMART! addresses the issues of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and HIV/AIDS prevention and education for 13-18 year olds.

For the program’s complete history, visit Major League Baseball’s website.

About Play Ball
On June 20, 2015, Major League Baseball and the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) launched a new Play Ball initiative, which will focus on the sport of baseball and encourage sustained participation in the sport for years to come. Play Ball will serve as a platform to connect with those who are currently involved in the game, while also providing alternative ways in for those looking to get involved, with a specific focus on youth participation.

During the summer of 2017, MLB, with the help of mayors across the country, will implement “Play Ball Summer” with the goal of energizing communities and generating support and love for baseball and softball.

Mayors will engage citizens, families and their respective city departments to organize individual and community events centered on baseball and softball. These activities will not only create a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the game, but will also serve as an opportunity to strengthen family and community bonds.