Big Brothers Big Sisters became big batters, big sluggers for a day with a little help from the Edmonton Capitals.
Three of the team’s players — first baseman Joe Jiannetti, bullpen coach Chris Avery and utility player Mitch Graham — taught a Grade 5/6 class at Eastwood Elementary School how to play ball yesterday.
The Capitals came out as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Sports Buddies program. “It’s such a great program, but not enough people know about it,” said Jena Bishop, marketing and communications for BBBS.
The initiative is intended to attract more male volunteers to the organization by promoting mentorship through attending sporting events and participating in athletic activities. Currently BBBS has significantly more women volunteering than men. “The kids get really excited, they love when the guys come,” said Bishop “They talk about it forever.”
The children aren’t the only ones who benefit from the program. “It’s really rewarding to come out and teach these guys the basics,” said Graham.
Graham and the other players did stretches with the kids, and then showed them how to throw, catch and bat.