JBLN set to kick off 30th anniversary celebrations
Fresh off a second place finish at the Freedom Farm 12U (Under-12) Invitational Tournament this past weekend, the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN) is gearing up to kick off its 30th anniversary celebrations with its own slate of activities.
The league’s first ever 5K (five kilometer) Fun Run/Walk is set for this Saturday starting at the JBLN Field of Dreams Complex in Nassau East. It will get underway at 6 a.m. and will be held in aid of autism and in full support of the autistic program at Anatol Rodgers Senior High School.
A health fair will be held immediately after the run/walk and there will be free health screenings at the park. Healthy food items will also be on sale.
“The month of April is Autism month, and the fun run/walk is in aid of that. We’re just looking forward to great representation on Saturday which would be a good way to kick off the 30th anniversary celebrations,” said Jodell Roberts, assistant secretary of the board of directors of JBLN. “We’re doing this in support of the autism program at Anatol Rodgers. Part proceeds will go toward that. We want to involve the community as much as possible, by inviting them to be a part of what is going on up here at JBLN.”
League president Jeffrey Walcott said it’s an opportunity for the league to raise some funds and for everyone to get some exercise.
“It’s a family affair and we look forward to it. I think it’s going to be very exciting,” said Walcott. “We’re looking forward to a good turnout, even with it being the first one. We have been putting the applications out there and getting the corporate sponsors so we think that we will do quite well. If we could get 200-300 participants, that would be a good turnout for us and a step in the right direction. We’re looking forward to it.”
The fun run/walk will start and end at the JBLN baseball complex at St. Andrew’s School. It will travel south on Nassau East Blvd., east on Yamacraw Road, west on Prince Charles Drive, south on Nassau East Blvd. again, and back to the field of dreams complex at St. Andrew’s. An awards ceremony will follow at the fields at which time there will be medal and trophy presentations. The top finisher in each category will receive a trophy and all participants will receive medals.
This is just the beginning of things to come. The league’s steak-out and all-star games are set for the following Saturday, April 13, at the field of dreams complex. All-star games pitting the president’s teams against the commissioner’s teams will be held in all seven divisions, starting at 10 in the morning. There will also be a parents softball game. The Fundraising Committee has scheduled a number of activities for the kids while the steak-out and all-star games are ongoing, and players not selected for the all-star teams are encouraged to come out and support the league and their teammates.
“It will be a complete fun day – an outing for the entire family,” said Roberts. “What you would find here at JBLN is that it is a safe environment and the atmosphere is conducive for everyone. We just want to encourage everyone to come out and take part in the festivities.”
Roberts said that there will be others events during the year in celebration of the league’s 30th anniversary of youth baseball. The league, featuring boys baseball teams, was launched in 1989, and a girls softball component was added later. The 2019 season continues this week with games in all seven divisions. Teams are securing playoff spots and pennant titles as there are just three weeks remaining in the season.