Uganda Little League Baseball Bio
Baseball is growing in Africa thanks to Uganda, a small East African country, where the first African Little League Baseball team started. Even though the children are so poor, 15,000 players share 700 gloves to make it happen. We can all learn a little bit about playing with our hearts from the story of the first ever Little League baseball team in Africa... Uganda!
It all started when a volunteer by the name of Richard Stanley offered to get baseball going in Uganda back in 2002. Baseball isn't cheap and Richard needed funding from the Ugandan government to build and maintain baseball fields. And with the help of Major League Baseball and a couple other businesses that donated funds to bring in the equipement, baseball was born in Uganda.
Most kids in Uganda had never even seen a baseball game before 2003, and there have been many obstacles for baseball to succeed in Africa. But with lots of enthusiasm, Ugandan children fell in love with baseball and quickly the kids became awesome players. It took them less than 10 years to get baseball going and then become World Contenders for the Little League World Series.
Welcome to the World Series
In 2011, only 8 years after baseball began in Uganda, a Little Team from Uganda's capital qualified for the World Series in the USA. It was so shocking that the team wasn't able to prepare properly for the trip and because the children couldn't get the proper passports and travelling VISAs, they were denied to play.
This didn't stop the amazing play of the only Little League baseball country in Africa. in 2012, another town called Lugazi qualitifed for the World Series and they actually got to play. Even though they didn't win, the story of baseball was booming in Uganda and more and more kids were signing up to play. Baseball is now a serious sport in Uganda!
Uganda has been disqualified from the 2013 World Series of Little League baseball. When officials found out that 5 of the players of last year's Lugazi team had been switched to the 2013 Gulu team which qualified to go to the National tournament, the team was disqualified for players not playing with the proper team from where they live. It's like if you live in Brooklyn, you have to play for the New York team, and you can't switch to another State to make an all-star team.
Have your say...
What do you think about the Uganda Little League story? Let us know in the comment below...