Contributed photo Brian Young and his son, Brody, are in Costa Rica this month, helping to teach local youth about the game.

South Surrey baseball family aims to grow game in Costa Rica

WRSSBA donates equipment for month-long trip

A Semiahmoo Peninsula family left this week for Costa Rica, where they plan to spend the next month distributing baseball gear and running clinics in small town of Paraiso.

Brian Young and his 11-year-old son, Brody – a member of the White Rock-South Surrey Baseball Association – will lead the clinics, helping not only youth learn the game, but also the town’s local coach – a man named Joseph who, the elder Young explained, organizes everything from soccer to dance to music in the small Central American town.

“In Costa Rica, there’s a love of baseball there – you can tell when you talk to people – but there’s really no infrastructure or equipment to play the game,” said Young, who has been travelled to the country for business for the last decade.

“Soccer is number-one by far – they actually make baseball for Major League Baseball in Costa Rica, but not that many people play. Nicaragua, just to the north, and Panama just south – those are big baseball countries, but soccer is just easier to play because all you need is a ball.”

The Youngs are bringing with them not just their baseball expertise, but also a team’s worth of equipment – an equipment bag, bats, catcher’s gear and bases donated by WRSSBA, as well as about a dozen gloves which were donated when “a couple families got together.”

Young, who connected with Joseph through a mutual friend in the country, said it was important to him to hook up with an established sports group in Paraiso, but sports – and other activities – are much more loosely organized there than at home. Joseph, he said, is “the guy” in town who organizes youth sports and stores equipment.

“We didn’t want to just bring all this stuff down there and have it disappear – we wanted someone to look after it, be in charge of it,” Young explained.

“The key is to involve some local people. I’ve done things in the past where you come in a build a school, or things like that – but if you don’t involve the locals, and get them involved, it doesn’t stick. If they do it with you… they’ll feel some ownership of it.”

Young said Brody was also “very excited” to teach other youngsters the sport, though Young admitted that the language barrier could prove to be a roadblock, at least in the early going.

“We don’t speak Spanish, but baseball fundamentals are baseball fundamentals,” he said.

Young added that after this first visit, they’ll return again in the spring, with the eventual goal being to have enough equipment to outfit two youth teams. As well, they’ll look to convert one of the many small soccer fields in the area into a baseball diamond, so youth have a place to play longterm.

“We’re really just planting the seeds this time.”

Just Posted

Pedestrian in critical condition after South Surrey crash identified

RCMP said they have been in contact with the woman’s family

Tourism report gives White Rock high marks

Surveys indicate parking, walkability and restaurants are priorities for visitors

Beach House Theatre auditioning for 2018 season

Summer lineup a Neil Simon farce and an ‘electric’ adventure for children

Finding Success: It’s not Delta’s students, it’s the system

The Delta School District is re-examining what it can do to support its Indigenous students

Rhythmic gymnasts set for competition at Cloverdale Fairgrounds this weekend

Elegant, artistic sport a great way to build self-confidence, says coach

VIDEO: Climber ‘catches the sunrise’ over city atop B.C. crane

Police warn ‘rooftopping’ poses risk to climber, public and first responders

‘Big time disappointment’ as Vancouver Giants fall to undermanned Kelowna Rockets

Head coach Jason McKee very unhappy with effort in Giants’ regular season home finale

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Delta South MLA calls high-speed rail study a ‘crazy announcement’

‘You’d be better off to move to Seattle’ than to travel to Vancouver from the Lower Mainland

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read