Building facilities in under-served areas to ensure inclusion for all. #Inclusion
Collaborating with business to provide a school partnership model to enhance public education #FutureReady
After school coaching and mentoring for at-risk and inner-city children #LevelThePlayingField
African-born pitcher - San Francisco Giants.
US Marine Corps
The Going to Bat Foundation was conceived in 2009 by three California High School baseball players Adam Salcido, Kieran Lovegrove and Kyle Candalla. Coming from very diverse backgrounds, the boys had witnessed first hand how fortunate they were to play their baseball in Orange County California.
They were committed to improving the lives of at risk youth in our inner cities by providing any child who wanted to play baseball or softball with the means and the opportunity, providing a viable alternative to other destructive options.
They worked tirelessly to gather new and used equipment and with the grant assistance from the likes of New Balance, were able to provide much needed assistance to programs from Alaska to Africa.
While still committed to the inner city school in Los Angeles and Phoenix, they have teamed with professional athletes, business and philanthropists to create, design and implement a comprehensive plan to greatly enhance the lives and futures of Africa’s youth through education, baseball and softball.
Adam Salcido, Kieran Lovegrove and Kyle Candalla - Team Southern California 2009
The organization is working to ensure that children from disadvantaged and low-income areas of the US and the world are provided with the tools to be #FutureReady. In Africa the median age is 19 and the number of young people in Africa is expected to grow in the decades ahead.
“These young people can be a huge asset. If they are healthy and educated. They drive economic growth, they drive innovation, so it’s a challenge to the world to take advantage of investing in youth, improving their health and education. It really pays off. …” Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft.
Sport is increasingly recognized and used as a low-cost and high-impact tool in humanitarian and development efforts.
The organization is tackling the issues of poverty, education, health, nutrition, employment creation, gender equality and inclusion.
These projects are multi-stakeholder partnerships that will prepare a growing youth population to respond to a global demand for innovation and technology.
To transform the delivery of Baseball and Softball by ensuring equitable access at all levels of participation and to harness the socio-economic contributions and education benefits that will create a better life for all participants.
Worldwide there is an increasing acknowledgement that sport and recreation have the potential to promote social inclusion, prevent conflict, and to enhance peace within and among nations.
The purpose this project is to team with professional athletes, business and philanthropists to create, design and implement a comprehensive plan to greatly enhance the lives and futures of our youth through education, baseball and softball.
Enhance the skills of Africa’s youth in the crucial areas of STEM to ensure future readiness to meet the anticipated demands in the world’s workplace.
Partner with US Corporations to "Circle the School" in Phoenix, AZ - Circle the Schools is a global program to provide a standard school partnership model with the goals of enhancing public education and ensuring our students and teachers have the skills, experiences, and resources they need to be #FutureReady.
Develop the games of baseball and softball in Africa, in an environment where the sport is relatively unknown to potential participants or spectators and financial resources are minimal.
Sport for Good - “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does". Nelson Mandela, Use sport as the mechanism for change and capitalize on the exponential growth of Baseball and Softball in Africa.
Since the late 1990s and early 2000s several initiatives began researching, developing, and implementing sports programs as a tool for social change.
As UN.org reads, “Sport has a unique power to attract, mobilize and inspire. By its very nature, sport is about participation. It is about inclusion and citizenship. It stands for human values such as respect for the opponent, acceptance of binding rules, teamwork and fairness…” As long as sport is “increasingly recognized and used as a low-cost and high-impact tool in humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts” watch as society continues to make an investment in making sport a priority.
Athletes who Stand for Something - "I saw the need to literally level the playing field, providing inclusion and opportunity for all.". Kieran Lovegrove - SF Giants. This initiative has received an overwhelming response from MLB Players; Coaches; Front Office Personnel; Writers and Philanthropists, all willing to travel to Africa to help with the development of this program.
Business for Change - “I strongly believe the business of a business is to improve the world.” Marc Benioff, Philanthropist and CEO of Salesforce
This initiative forms and sustains valuable relationships that promote true collaboration between educators and businesses in Africa. Education provided by this program will prepare Africa’s growing youth population to respond to a global demand for innovation and technology.
In addition to STEM education, the program will also provide vocational training in small business to service the expected needs of a growing sport.
"Made in Africa"
Key to the success of this program is the establishment of local businesses to support this initiative, not to rely on Europe and America’s cast-offs. Donations of used clothing and equipment will be discouraged as however well-intentioned, they are counter-productive.
Projects are currently underway to produce bats on the continent; Labor-intensive manufacturing of gloves is conducive to Africa ; Uniforms and safety equipment can be sourced locally,
Steps to sport success
Community - “Little League®” growth
Baseball Academies - in partnership with Pro Baseball
Tech Centers in schools and academies.
This project was conceived by Kieran Lovegrove, African-born pitcher with the San Francisco Giants and co-founder of the Going to Bat Foundation (est. 2009).
While his prominence, along with the other handful of African-born players in professional baseball, has created unprecedented interest and unity in the African baseball community, he realized that the scope of the project would require multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieve it’s goals.
Kieran reached out to his fellow professional baseball players and received an overwhelming response from MLB Players; Coaches; Front Office Personnel; Writers and Philanthropists, all willing to travel to Africa to help with the development of this program.
The Foundation is working with key stakeholders and corporations in the fields of technology, education, philanthropy and professional sports, as well as government representatives in the sport and education departments of the target countries. It is imperative that this initiative forms and sustains valuable relationships that promote true collaboration between educators and businesses in Africa. Education provided by this program will prepare Africa’s growing youth population to respond to a global demand for innovation and technology.
The Going to Bat Foundation has within it's ranks a diverse pool of talent; Technology Professionals; Sports Coaches; Professional Athletes; Renowned Author and Psychotherapist; Expert in Human Development; Certified Physical Trainers; Experienced Athletic Trainers and a host of other resources.
hese projects also acknowledge the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. We strive to address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
How will your organization know if you are making progress?
Measure: Monitor the growth and achieve critical mass to ensure that Africa qualifies for its own automatic berth in the LLWS - this prevents the cost-prohibitive need to qualify through Europe and ensures costs are paid by Little League International.
Measure: This can be measured by participation numbers and completion of facilities - this will likely be tied to provision of education enhancements in the schools e.g. technology centers; libraries, etc.
Measure: Results will be measured over a longer term to ascertain the success of these enhanced education facilities by measuring the increased rate in college admissions.
Measure: Africa does not currently any fully fledged academy sponsored by an professional baseball team in either Japan or the USA, so it will be easy to measure success in this area.
Measures: Here there are two measures:
1) The growth of the grassroots funnel of youth participants will lead to the identification of elite athletes, which will in turn justify the establishment of academies, which will become the venues for a new regional African Professional Baseball League - success will be determined by the number of professional teams.
2) A second measure will be the number of athletes from Africa playing professional baseball (or softball) in the MLB or NPB. With the current count at 7, any growth will be easy to measure.