San Francisco Giants launch virtual program ‘Junior Giants at Home’ for underserved kids

Sports

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The San Francisco Giants are taking a long standing community program virtual with the launch this week of “Junior Giants at Home.” 

Every year for almost 30 years, the Giants community fund has welcomed hundreds of Junior Giants to the ballpark — A chance for kids in underserved communities to learn about baseball, get exercise, and train like pro players. 

Now, they’re taking the program online with a 4-week long virtual camp experience called ‘Junior Giants at Home.’

“Children, but people in general right now, are looking for ways to be inspired and for ways to be motivated. And one thing we know is taking baby steps towards goals can keep us optimistic and sharp in times of stress,” Gabe Kapler, San Francisco Giants Manager, said. 

The program includes livestreamed practices, so kids can interact with other junior Giants and videos from the Giants’ coaching staff with tips on how to stay active while sheltering at home, and training drills for honing baseball skills. 

“The Junior Giants is where I think a lot of our coaches hearts are right now, and wanna put a lot of time and effort into that particular initiative, and I think as a more overarching theme, we’re all thinking about ways that we can use our platform in a time when we think people desperately need to hear from leadership,” Kapler said. 

Messages like the importance of education and bullying prevention are also tenets of the program.

Kapler hopes some of the skills being imparted to the Junior Giants will serve his San Francisco Giants as they work towards a return to baseball.

“If we’ve kind of shadowboxed as baseball players during this time of quarantine, when we do start camp, getting in the batter’s box is not gonna feel so foreign, pushing off the rubber, off the mound, is not gonna be so foreign…and what will ultimately be like a game simulation for us so that we’re ahead of the competition when we start back up,” Kapler said. 

Kapler said he’s feeling optimistic right now, both about baseball coming back this summer, and about the impact Junior Giants can have on kids’ lives, even during these unusual times.

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