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Syrian refugees at Zaatari camp in Jordan get a handle on baseball

Date : 26 Jan 2019

Zaatari, Jordan, January 26, 2019: Inhabitants at Zaatari, the world’s largest camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, were given a taste of baseball with the World Baseball Softball Confederation conducting a two-day coaching workshop this week.

The Confederation, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Jordan Olympic Committee, introduced Baseball5 as part of the partnership developed with the organisation Peace for Sport.

The workshop, which ran from January 23-24 in one of the UNHCR community centres in the camp, aimed to teach the basics of Baseball5 to more than 30 local coaches, teachers and project coordinators working at the camp.

In the coming weeks, coaches will begin introducing World Baseball’s new low-cost and youth-focused discipline to many of the 80,000 refugees living in the densely populated UNHCR-run camp. All of the equipment is being donated by the Confederation.

“I want to thank Peace and Sport, the Jordanian Olympic Committee, the United Nations Agencies and all the other NGOs for helping us to deliver this important programme at the Zaatari camp,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.

“The chance to play sport will have a positive impact on the lives of children living in this difficult situation, and I hope our work at Zaatari can be a model for similar programmes in under-served communities around the world,” Fraccari added.

During the workshop a number of exhibition games were organised between coaches on the first day and refugees on the second. Games were simultaneously held on six Baseball5 fields drawn with white sand. All the coaches were awarded with certificates at the end of the matches and are looking to organise weekly Baseball5 training sessions.

The Confederation hopes that Baseball5 will find continuity in the camp and that it will help improve everyday life of the Syrian refugees.

Source: World Baseball Softball Confederation

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