From POST staff reports
Five youth baseball leaders from Venezuela will arrive in Lebanon Monday as part of the Youth Sports Management Exchange program to explore programs and strategies for providing sustainable sports opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth and for stressing educational achievement together with sports achievement.
Youth baseball officials and community volunteers from throughout Wilson County will help guide these leaders by hosting them at their youth serving organizations, providing home-stays and treating them to some of our region’s best youth baseball and softball, including visits to the Babe Ruth District Tournament games at Lebanon’s Baird Park Complex.
The Venezuelan baseball leaders will be staying at the homes of local residents between July 7 and 15.
The group spent last week in Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland area where they attended a two-day workshop at the Cal Ripken Academy, meeting with US government officials, leaders of national and international youth sports programs, and learning more about US history and culture.
The Youth Sports Management Exchange is supported by the US Department of State and managed by the Partners of the Americas. In Tennessee their activities are being led and coordinated by the Tennessee-Venezuela chapter of Partners of the Americas.
Founded in 1964, Partners of the Americas links U.S. states with Latin American and Caribbean countries in partnerships that use the energy and skills of citizen volunteers, their institutions and communities to address shared concerns of social, economic and cultural development. Its work covers areas as diverse as emergency preparedness, agriculture, cultural exchange, domestic violence and local government strengthening. Partners is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C.
The Tennessee local chapter has members from different sections of the state and is currently involved in a series of people to people diplomacy exchanges with Venezuela. Tennessee is also partner of the state of Amazonas in Brasil.
Last month ten Venezuelan students spent ten days in Johnson City in the Youth Exchange program. Soon, another ten participants of the Young Leaders exchange programs will visit Tennessee to work on special projects, learning about AIDS programs in our state.
In addition to seeing Babe Ruth games at Baird Park, the visitors will also visit Cumberland University’s Stockton Field where they will attend an advanced fundamental camp under the direction of Coach Woody Hunt, visit Baird Park and sit down with Parks and Recreation Director William Porter and hear remarks from David McKinney on the history of Babe Ruth baseball in Lebanon.
Anyone interested in joining Partners and learning more about the organization, visit
www.Partners.net and /or call Dr. Hugo Sandoval at 615-594-2076.