The Eagles have landed

25 Jun

Let them soar like the eagles that they are!

When I think of Baseball, my mind takes me to Central Park, in New York City​, in the summertime, hoards of proud fans gathering to watch their favourite American​ sport and sportsmen, what comes to mind is the typical stereotype of what movies portray New Yorkers as, usually of Italian heritage, who speaks with a heavy accent. So, when I am told that there is a famous girls​ baseball team who reside in the Eastern Cape, I suddenly need to adjust my senses and investigate further. As this falls into my three passions in life, being Women, Africa and the arts, I had to share the history and see how we can assist.
I was introduced to this phenomenal team by one of my spiritual leaders, pastor Edwin Bennett.

The​ Eagles Baseball club​ is​ based in Mdantsane, East London in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

This is their story:
In 1993 a group of Australians came to the Eastern Cape Province in a Project called AUSSIE SPORT. The project was aimed at introducing new games of sport to the learners who were attending school. Among the games they introduced was a game called T-Ball.
The T-ball game attracted a Mr​ Sthembiso Magengelele, an educator that was based at Sakhile Primary School at Zone 13 at Mdantsane. Mr Magengelele with the support of the principal, Mr M. Cube and staff of the school spread T-ball to the surrounding schools in a form of a code of sport. The games attracted more educators, especially the Primary School educators and learners.
The introduction of the games also attracted the South African Baseball Union {SABU} and that led to T-ball tournaments being staged at Mdantsane. In 1994 Mr Magengelele was taken to a T-ball coaching course in Gauteng. Having returned from the coaching course, Mr Magengelele was tasked to capacitate other educators around the Province. With the assistance of SABU and the Department of Education, that was made possible. In 1995 Wandile Diko, a 13 year old Sakhile learner caught the eye of the SABU scout. He went to a T-ball tour in Australia with the South African delegation.
T- ball proved to be the entry point to Baseball at Mdantsane and the Province. The first Border Team to play in the National T-Ball Day in George in 1995 came from Sakhile Primary School. The first U/15 baseball player to represent the province in the National selected squad came from Mdantsane, Philasizwe Ndevu also a student from Sakhile Primary School. He was joined by Zolani Mki also from Mdantsane.
Eastern Cape Province has for several years been represented by the Border players both in school and or club championships at a national level.
A Baseball Club was established which led to the establishment of Border Baseball. The region produced officials and players of quality who made the national side. They are :
Philasizwe Ndevu
Zolani Mki
Wandile Diko
S. Magengelele [Executive Member SABU]

I had the opportunity to speak to one of the coaches, Lwazi Mondolozi and he shared with me that they currently they have five other clubs under the Eagle brand. The sport has been introduced into the schools, through the specific training, the top players are recruited and placed into the various teams that fall under The eagles Baseball club. There are a large number of girls who wish to play and so they often have to dedicate specific days where the coaches go and train at specific schools. Three of the coaches are unemployed and through the assistance of the EPWA (Extended Public Works Program), they obtain a monthly stipend for their coaching.

At this point in time, they compete locally but the aim is to get them on a provincial level. So far they have gone the following awards:
Bronze Medals in 2016, where they were playing as District (Buffalo city Metro Municipality)
2017 They obtained second place.

In order to increase their visibility, training and support they need assistance with equipment, clothing.

For more information or if you wish to contribute skills Anor make a domnation, contact Lwazi

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