World Childrens Baseball Fair Okotoks 2014
Created November 21, 2012 by Lesley Dyck
Funding Level$100k - 150k (< 2014)
Community SizeMore than 1,000
OverviewIt’s the year 2050, and five friends sit on a wooden bench overlooking the green turf grass of the ball diamond, set against a beautiful mountainous backdrop. It’s been a great many years since they all united here as children, while participating in the World Children’s Baseball Fair of 2014 in Okotoks, AB. At this current reunion of friends, they share memories, stories and laughs about one of the best weeks of their childhood. Now grown adults, those memories of playing baseball with friends from all different countries have not escaped them. The relationships and connections they fostered in that week as youth lasted throughout the years, and brought them back to Okotoks years later to relive those happy moments. This was possible because as children participants of the WCBF, language and cultural barriers did not hold back blossoming friendships, all due to the amazing fact that the language and love for baseball is universal.
The World Children's Baseball Fair - WCBF, a non-profit organization, was established in 1989 by World Home Run Kings Sadaharu Oh and Hank Aaron along with Dr. Akiko Agishi, Founders of the WCBF. The World Children's Baseball Fair was established in the interest of fostering an environment of world understanding and cultural exchange through the celebration of baseball, which became an Olympic Medal Sport for the first time in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Recognizing that the sport of baseball promotes teamwork, good health, discipline and friendship, Mr. Oh and Mr. Aaron conceived the idea of the WCBF as a means of creating goodwill and fellowship among the children of the world. Today, countries from 5 continents participate in this global event!
During the Annual Summer Week Event, boys and girls aged 10 to 11 years old, take part in Baseball Clinics run by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and participate in intercultural activities aimed at improving international understanding. The emphasis is on learning and having fun, not competition.
The Okotoks Minor Ball Association with support from the Okotoks Dawgs, have put forth a proposal to the WCBF to host the 2014 Summer Week Event at our internationally recognized baseball facilities. This summer two locals attended the WCBF in Mie, Japan and had the opportunity to participate in a once in a lifetime baseball and cultural experience. Their extremely positive experiences have furthered our dedication to bringing such an amazing international event to the Town of Okotoks.
It is worth noting that all of Seaman Stadium, the Duvernay Fieldhouse, Tourmaline Field and the Riverside North and South Bantam Youth Diamonds are all located in walking distance of each other and creates an atmosphere much like the Spring Training Facilities of most Major League Baseball Clubs. That makes the facilities THE premier destination for national and international tournaments, showcases and events at all levels. In fact, Seaman Stadium has already been the host site for a showcase which included the national teams of Canada, the United States and Taiwan.
Baseball Alberta, the Okotoks Dawgs and the Okotoks Minor Ball Association have been working together diligently to continually improve the delivery of the glorious game of baseball for our youth. It is our belief that an event of this magnitude, and the notoriety and recognition it would bring for our town, province, and country would be of a national benefit. To showcase what our town, region, and country has to offer to more than 15 countries would be an amazing experience.
Community is not limited to just the borders of our town, province, or country, but extends to every reach of the world where kids aged 10-11 will have the chance to exchange laughter and joy while playing the amazing game of baseball.