When I think of Armenia and sports, my initial thought always turns to Chess. As the national sport of Armenia, it is highly revered as THE individual sport to learn. Coming from the United States, I have always been surrounded by team sports and the benefits they can provide. As an avid softball player (female version of Baseball) from my early childhood into adulthood, I can say the sport has given me so much in terms of self-esteem, leadership skills, and life-long friends. When the opportunity to introduce Baseball to the children of Gyumri arose, I quickly jumped at it. Debi Arach, a children’s center in the Ani district of Gyumri, held a summer camp for the children of the neighborhood called an “American Summer” where each month was dedicated to a popular American team sport. This August was Baseball and I loved the fact I could share my knowledge and passion for the sport with my homeland.
Teaching Baseball as a Sports Volunteer
Throughout the month, I taught the children the basic fundamentals of Baseball such as throwing, catching, batting, and base-running. My favorite thing about this opportunity was seeing how much the children enjoy playing. Since team sports are not as common as individual sports in Armenia, I feel it is vital to introduce them as much as possible. They teach the younger generations the importance of cooperation and teamwork.
During my time teaching the children, I observed the lack of essential Baseball equipment. With only 2 gloves and bats, and about a handful of Baseballs, I knew I needed to do more for these children to be able to have an enriching experience. On September 1st, I began a month-long fundraiser to raise money to purchase the needed equipment. As the proper Baseball equipment is rather difficult to come by in Armenia, I plan to purchase everything in the US and bring it to Gyumri. Any remaining funds will go towards the purchase of stationery school supplies for the children.
Contact Tatya via email if you also want to support her initiative.