Medina, WA, February 24, 2013: The FirstSwing Foundation, a 501c3/Washington state non-profit, is proud to announce that it’s 2013 Hanoi IV Team has just returned from ten days in Hanoi, Vietnam. This was the fourth year that FirstSwing had sent a team of coaches, parents, and players to Vietnam as part of their “Baseball Connect” program in conjunction with Microsoft. This program began in 2008 to help develop Vietnamese youngsters’ baseball skills, teach valuable “life lessons”, and to further positive interaction between the U.S. and SE Asian countries. As in past years the “Baseball Connect” team conducted baseball/softball clinics/camps in Hanoi, visited public and private schools, held a “Pitch Hit, and Run” competition, and worked with youth teams to improve their basic mechanics and team skill sets. FirstSwing has an extensive youth baseball/softball program that provides camps, clinics, tournaments, and “special day” activities year round in the Puget Sound area. It has also travelled to Portugal, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Kuala Lumpur, Cambodia, California, Oregon, and other U.S. states to present its unique approach to teach youngsters not just the game but most importantly the “life’s little lessons” inherent in our national pastime! FirstSwing will soon be travelling to China and Israel to work with youngsters, schools, and teams as part of the Baseball Connect” international program.
The Executive Director of FirstSwing, Phil Rognier, has been involved in baseball since 1947 and has created a FUN and exciting educational curricula that teaches the fundamentals and mechanics of the game(s) as well as incorporating the essence of being an active productive citizen. The mission of the foundation is to teach youngsters the proper way to throw, hit, field, run, and condition, as well as the concepts of decision-making, problem-solving, responsibility/accountability, work ethic, manners(yes manners!), integrity, courage, and all the other important traits of a solid citizen, future spouse and parent! Youth baseball is a process, not an end in itself!!
The credo of FirstSwing is GAGPTH!…or Get a Good Pitch to Hit! In baseball and life, it is necessary to discern between a good solid opportunity and one not so good, and THEN work very hard, aim high, and persevere to achieve these goals! Hopefully, in some small way, a baseball/softball program in Viet Nam will not just be a good faith venture between two countries but will develop responsible citizens who will create their future rather than just trying to predict it! “PLAY and LEARN”, what a concept!!! GAGPTH!
“Baseball cannot change the world, BUT it may change a youngster’s life!”