My friend Sine took a bunch of us to a baseball game in the heart of Alexandra (Alex for short), one of the townships of Joburg. Sine has been heavily involved in fundraising for the team since she discovered them, and it was a great opportunity to go into one of the fiercest areas in Jozi with someone that knows the area. You can read about the difference that Sine has made on the various posts on her blog Joburg Expat
I didn’t know what to expect at the game as I’ve not watched a baseball game before. We don’t have baseball in any schools that I know of in the UK, and I have only ever see it on American films! I was very excited to attend
We arrived at the Alex Sports Complex and the game was already underway. I wasn’t surprised that their facilities were lacking – they were playing on a field, but they had no backstop and were using a football goal instead, and there were no fences or anything else that you expect. They just don’t have the funding. Because they don’t have the facilities, they mostly have to play away games as other teams do not want to play there, but they then need money for transport, which they do not have. Until Sine and a few others came along, they didn’t have half the clothing and equipment that they now have, and this is thanks to her perseverance and the generosity of her readers
Sine tried to fill Rob and I in on the rules, but it all seems a little complicated to me! Hopefully next time I watch a game I will understand it a little better. They played a great game whilst we were there, and although the other team were triumphant, Alex played with heart. They were really great at batting. What really struck me is that the other team come from a privileged area with substantially more resources at their disposal, and yet the difference in the score didn’t seem that much to me. There is great talent on the Alex team – they just need the resources to develop it.
What I love about this project of Sine’s is that the money and equipment being donated is empowering these kids to achieve their dream of playing a team sport in a safe environment. It gives them purpose and direction. Some of these kids are offered sporting scholarships by wealthier schools as a result of playing for Alex, and that is life changing for them but something that they earned themselves with just a little help from people enabling them to play. Pretty cool!
Sine actually had a few boxes of kit that had been donated by some of her readers in the US to handover. Here’s a pic of us and some of the guys involved in the team. Coolest part – there’s a girl on the team!! Good on her for giving those boys a run for their money
Please guys it’s Christmas time (almost), and I hope that in the spirit of the festive season you might donate a little to help these kids. Just a small donation via Paypal could make a huge difference to the team. Please go to Sine’s post for better information on the team and how you will make a difference: Baseball in the heart of a vibrant township