Elementary After School Baseball Program is a Hit

684
afterschool_baseball

Guam The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) and the Non- Communicable Disease (NCD) Consortium’s Physical Activity Group is working with the Guam Baseball Academy (GBA) to plan, prepare, develop and implement two 4-week baseball/softball workshops at two Guam Department of Education (GDOE) elementary schools. The selected schools are C.L. Taitano and Harry S. Truman Elementary Schools.   The training includes baseball/softball activities and fitness skills as accredited physical education workshops that is part of GDOE’s ‘After School’ Program.   The program is part of an enrichment curriculum, which focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles.

Program Developer Brad Hewitt, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist says, “the program is called B.A.S.E.S. (Be A Super Example Student) and was designed specifically for elementary- aged school children to reinforce healthier lifestyle and to assist students meet the daily requirements for physical activity.  Through baseball, B.A.S.E.S. lays the foundation for educating and combating many of the risk factors associated with NCDs.”

[Photo: A BASES program participant at Harry S. Truman Elementary School prepares himself to swing during a simulated game. Photo courtesy of Department of Public Health and Social Services.]

B.A.S.E.S. is in its 4th week at C.L. Taitano and Harry S. Truman Elementary Schools. GBA has been conducting on-field lessons using baseball/softball sports skills, fitness, wellness and health for participating children in the 4th & 5th grade levels. The one-hour program includes lessons on cancer,, tobacco and obesity prevention education.  GBA provided the instructors with equipment and materials to successfully implement the curriculum.

Lead instructor, Bill Bennett says he is pleased with the attendance of kids in the program and the amazing support from the school staff. “The kids are having a great time and are always looking forward to the next session. The activities are fast paced and challenging to the kids. The intent of the program is not only to get them to be physically active but also to teach them the value of sportsmanship through playing baseball and softball.  These sports promote healthy and positive behavior. This is a great program and a way to get the kids outside in the sunlight and work on their sports motor skills using their legs and arms to challenge the movement of the baseball/softball.”  Bennett said.

afterschool_baseball1

[Photo: The program divides students into small groups to ensure that they remain as active as possible.  Photo courtesy of Department of Public Health and Social Services.]

The Guam Baseball Academy is the education arm of the Guam Amateur Baseball Association, a non-for profit organization.  GBA has experience, knowledge, abilities and skills in conducting educational campaigns and promoting physical sports activities.  GBA works in collaboration with the NCD Consortium and is committed  to promote the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in our community.

Guam, like many other states, is experiencing an epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, asthma, etc. NCDs are preventable by adopting healthy lifestyles through proper nutrition, increased physical activity and the prevention of poor lifestyle behaviors.  DPHSS, through the Bureau of Community Health Services, oversees and manages prevention programs such as Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program; and oversees the NCD Consortium  The program promotes mutual goals and objectives of promoting healthy lifestyles and reduction of NCD risk factors: tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity, alcohol abuse, and other threats.

For more information, contact DPHSS Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Coordinator, Lawrence Alam at 735-7335 or visit www.livehealthy.guam.gov.