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RBI League Program offers baseball and softball opportunities for youth

boys and girls club
Posted at 7:14 AM, Mar 28, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's baseball season and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City continue their years long partnership with Royal Charities to create 'fields of opportunity' for Kansas City's youth.

The Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program, known as Royals RBI, gives children and teenagers the chance to play softball and softball.

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The league is an opportunity for youth in the urban core to play the sport.

"It tends to be a very expensive sport just with the equipment, playing in the leagues, the travel, all of those different things they start to add up," Senior Director, Athletics & Healthy Lifestyles Programs of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Waymond King said.

"For families on a modest income , some just have other priorities for their finances. Playing the RBI leagues is the opportunity for these kids to get a chance to play a sport, the national pastime and get good instruction in that pursuit."

King says it's a way students can play the sport while also learning about social responsibility and life skills.

"It's a great opportunity for the young folks in the city to learn the sport and that's something that, as I mentioned before that's not been an option for a lot of our kids," King said. "Baseball's a good sport to play and you can have a long tenure in it if you're playing professionally. Certainly not everyone that participates in the program is going to be a professional athlete, but the skills that you learn, participating and being apart of a team, is going to be long."

Jayden Hasam, a senior at Ewing Marion Kauffman School, has been apart of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and the RBI League since he was eight years old.

Now, 10 years later, he still loves it and says the league is one big family.

"It's important because baseball is not a sport where you see a lot of people my color playing ball. Like typically I'll have to play travel teams outside the league to get better experience, but inside the RBI, there's a lot of athletes who show their talent, their skills, and being able to compete against them, it's like no other. I know a lot of people from different teams, like 30 teams and it's just a really big environment family," Hasam said. "You'll probably play against somebody from a different school or your own school but a different team, but just being able to compete against somebody that you know is the biggest accomplishment ever."

Hasam says this program also brings a lot of attention to the inner city athletes.

"It's necessary because it expands the program - not just inner city, but outside the perimeter of Kansas City specific area and it brings in more attention," Hasam said. "Being a part of the Royals, it gives the players that play at 18th and Vine at the new Urban Youth Academy, in front of coaches, college coaches, Royals, players that come in and out all the time, so it's just a lot of exposure."

There are nearly 700 young athletes apart of the Royals RBI league; 40 baseball teams and 15 softball teams.

Registration is still open and some spots are still available for young athletes between the ages of 5 and 18.

The cost is $25 per person, with a uniform included.

The league starts April 1st, and the program leaders are also in need of volunteer coaches. To learn more about registration and/or volunteering, click here.