Little League links up with DepEd, expands program

MANILA, Philippines – Little League Philippines has partnered with the Department of Education to further strengthen and expand its baseball and softball grassroots program and widen the talent pool for the country’s campaigns in the Asia-Pacific and World Series tournaments.

LL Philippines district administrator Jolly Gomez and DepEd Assistant Sec. Tonisito Umali announced the tie-up in a signing ceremony and turn-over of 100 new baseball bats yesterday at DepEd’s Bulwagan ng Karunungan.

According to Gomez, the agreement affiliates the Palarong Pambansa with the LL program, enabling them to reach out to the 200 divisions in the 18 regions under the DepEd and identify previously undiscovered players.

“Currently we have 48 active (members) and 60 registered LGUs, mostly from Luzon. With this tie-up, we’ll be able to bring the Little League program to (LGUs) all over the country.  By doing this, we’ll be able to expand the program to 220 divisions, which will make it one of the largest baseball and softball programs in the country,” said Gomez, who signed the MOA with Sec. Armin Luistro.

“We’re very excited with this because nearly all participants in Little League come from Luzon and Southern Tagalog, with a few from the South. I feel there are many strong players just waiting to be discovered in the Visayas and this tie-up with DepEd, which is a fantastic partner, will help us discover these champions,” he added.

LL Phl will provide training materials and train coaches and PE teachers to help them mold elementary and high school baseball and softball kids.

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“Even without this MOA signed, our kids excelled in international competitions before. With the signing of this MOA, we hope our performance when we join competitions outside the country will be further enhanced,” said Umali.

With the pact sealed, LL will make the Palaro an elimination tournament for the Asia-Pacific Series, offering slots in select divisions.

“This year, the Palaro winner will be the representative in (the AsPac) intermediate baseball (competition); by next year, we’ll have Little League Softball, and the year after, Big League Softball because by that time, the K-12 program will be fully implemented,” said Gomez.

Also present during the signing rites were LL Phl deputy district administrator Chito Gonzalez and Jane Sace, assistant brand manager of Mister Donut, which also recently renewed its partnership with the Little League organization.


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