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July 9, 2013 > Junior Giants begin 2013 season

Junior Giants begin 2013 season

Submitted By Mark Ormsby

The Hayward League of the Junior Giants kicked off its 2013 season of games with Opening Day Ceremonies on July 2, 2013 at Larry Standley Field, Weekes Park, Hayward. Since the season began on June 17, players have learned basic baseball skills and practiced for their first games. Opening Day featured a parade of the Junior Giants in their new uniforms and first pitches from City dignitaries, including Mayor Michael Sweeney, City Manager Fran David and Police Chief Diane Urban.

The Junior Giants Program serves 20,000 children in 85 leagues across California, Nevada and Oregon. In 2013, Hayward one of the largest Junior Giants leagues in the program with a record number of almost 700 registrations. A successful partnership between the Hayward Police Department's Youth and Family Services Bureau, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District and the San Francisco Giants Community Fund, the latter originally developed the program to give youth an alternative to drugs, gangs and crime.

In addition to playing baseball in a fun, non-competitive environment, players enjoy positive interactions with the School Resource Officers who are their coaches. There is also additional programming that encourages the four basics of character development: confidence, teamwork, leadership and integrity. The kids learn about healthy eating, violence prevention and the importance of education. Free breakfast and lunch are provided through a partnership with Hayward Councilman Mark Salinas and the Hayward Unified School District's "Let's Do Lunch Hayward ... and breakfast too" program. All of this is offered at no cost to Hayward youth between the ages of 5 and 14.

Participants look forward to another great summer of Junior Giants baseball!

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