Thursday, September 7, 2017
APPLICATIONS are open for student athletes to participate in a new development programme by Project Limestone, the non-profit organisation founded by retired Bahamian Major League Baseball (MLB) player Antoan Richardson.
Richardson heads a professional team of former Bahamian student-athletes intent on empowering youngsters to beat the odds and do away with improbabilities.
“My team and I believe that we have the resources, networks, understanding, and desire to assist young people in achieving their goals. It is our hope that individuals will not only allow us to assist them in holding on to their dreams but also in seeing those dreams come true,” Richardson said.
“Next” is the sporting division of the organisation. It aims to produce high performing athletes, community-centric youngsters, and curious students with a love of learning. While Next will eventually cover many sporting disciplines, Next Baseball is the first to be introduced.
The 10-week Next Baseball programme, which starts September 19, is open for youth aged 11 to 25. It will take place three afternoons a week at the historic Windsor Park baseball complex. Participants will spend most of their time on the field, but Next is more than a sports-based programme. To emphasise the point, Project Limestone refers to its “coaches” as cultivators.
“We are preparing young athletes for the start of their athletic journeys but we are also preparing them for life after their athletic careers. And whether our participants are just interested in recreational sports or collegiate or professional careers, Next is fundamentally about facilitating the creation of well-rounded, team-oriented and goal-driven Bahamians,” Richardson said.
Crachad Laing, Project Limestone’s vice-principal said: “Our programs serve as an outlet for individuals who wish to develop and build not only on their technical skills but also on their life skills.”
SeDale McKenzie, a former student-athlete, and a Next Bahamas team cultivator, believes the initiative affords him an opportunity to give back to the community.
“I feel like I owe the community because I had coaches in my life who sacrificed their time and energy to teach me about life and baseball. Their efforts were beneficial to me and allowed me to get over 60 percent of my four-year tuition paid for through baseball.”
Mario Ford, who has hosted a number of camps and clinics at Windsor Park over the past three decades, is a special advisor to the program. He was raised in the inner-city and also looks forward to the opportunity to give back.
There are 40 spots available for the current open enrollment. The application process has several components, including a requirement that participants and cultivators pledge to uphold the values of accountability, commitment, and teamwork.
For more information about Next Baseball, visit the Project Limestone website at www.projectlimestone.org/next.
For more information please forward questions to Bria Deveaux - Vice Principal, Marketing and New Business at email@example.com or Antoan Richardson - President and Founder at firstname.lastname@example.org