Teamwork Englewood and the Chicago Police Department Partner for Youth Baseball League
Lee Edwards | 3/19/2015, 11:16 a.m.
Play ball! In partnership with the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) 7th District Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St., Teamwork Englewood and Get In Chicago present the inaugural season of the Englewood Police & Youth Baseball League.
“The purpose of this program is to promote unification, to promote trustworthiness, to establish and build relationships between the youth and the police of this community," said Program Manager Andrea Na’Tay. “We’re looking forward to this being a great opportunity to engage the youth of the community during the summer.”
Na’Tay, owner of Forever Fitness Chicago, LLC, who previously organized Englewood 5K, was contacted by Teamwork Englewood to organize the league and will be the liaison between the partnering organizations.
The league begins May 3 with introductory baseball clinics and concludes on August 15 with an end of the season banquet. Boys and girls age nine to 12 are encouraged to take part in the fun. The six team league capacity is roughly 90-100 children.
“There’s been a lack of baseball activity in Englewood,” said Na’Tay. “Kids flock to basketball, kids flock to football, but we want to develop a better awareness of the sport of baseball.”
The CPD’s 7th District has taken on the challenge of partnering with the community as officers volunteer as team managers and umpires.
“We’re just trying to have a positive outlet for our youth for the summer,” said CPD CAPS Officer Claudette Knight (Dist. – 7th). “Not everyone plays basketball but if this is your choice we would like to provide it. We’re all about the community.”
Seventh district CAPS personnel and will serve as mentors to the players.
Get In Chicago, a public-private partnership to invest in programs to help at-risk youth by developing innovative and evidence-based programming to provide alternatives to violence, has stepped to the plate to provide all of the baseball materials including uniforms to the players.
“We thought the baseball league would be an excellent opportunity both for our young people to have productive activities over the summer and to create a real engagement in that community,” said Dr. Toni Irving, executive director, Get In Chicago. “Teamwork Englewood has done great work in Englewood, they know the community very well and they’re just a great partner for facilitating this process. We’re excited for the potential for parents and neighbors coming out to the games and just to create a fun environment that helps build trust in the community between the police and the residents.”
Dr. Irving told the Chicago Citizen Newspaper that the Englewood Police & Youth Baseball League is Get In Chicago’s very first sports related initiative and more may be on the horizon.
The Englewood Police & Youth Baseball League participants will also be treated to Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs baseball games. Also, Dream Cafe & Grille, 748 W. 61st St., will cater league sponsored events.
For more information about that the Englewood Police & Youth Baseball League call (312)221-7296.