Athletes in Action teach youths baseball, Gospel fundamentals

Christine June
415th Base Support Battalion

***image4***More than 100 KMC youths learned the art of baseball and the Gospel of Jesus Christ through baseball camps taught by Athletes in Action July 12 to 15 at Landstuhl Twin Fields on Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

“Athletes in Action takes college kids who are interested in playing ball and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the United States, Central America and Europe,” said Kyle N. Ray, Athletes in Action head coach. “We share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by playing baseball games with local teams and doing clinics.”***image3***

The clinics here were broken up by age groups with the first two-day camp for youths in first through fifth grades and the second for those in sixth to twelfth grades. Fundamentals of baseball such as how to bat, catch and throw were taught by 19 players and two coaches of Athletes in Action.

“These guys are really talented players. Two of them are actual Division I players who play collegiate ball,” said Steven L. Pelletier, 415th Base Support Battalion Child and Youth Services Division chief. “And, they come with a good mission statement about having good, clean fun.”

***image2***Cole Stamper, 10, has been playing baseball for 5 years, and he said the camp taught him a few things that he didn’t know.

“I learned that it’s better to keep your locking knuckles lined up on the bat because it gives more power to your swing,” he said.

These athletes started their European tour May 29 and will head back home to the U.S. Saturday. Before coming here, they played baseball games and held clinics in France and The Czech Republic.

“I think it’s a great experience being able to share and teach American families overseas,” he said. “Everybody has been friendly, and it’s a great opportunity to be here.”***image1***

The camps were sponsored by the 415th BSB Chaplain’s Office, 435th Air Base Wing Chaplain’s Office and the 415th BSB Landstuhl Youth Services.
“Judging by the success of these camps and the number of the kids who showed up, it’s definitely possible that we will be doing this again,” said A.J. Johnson, 415th BSB Chaplain’s Office Youth of the Chapel coordinator.

Athletes in Action are based out of Xenia, Ohio, and besides baseball, they also have basketball, soccer, volleyball, track-n-field, wrestling and power lifting teams that also travel throughout the U.S., Central America and Europe.