Istrouma Baptist holding free baseball clinic for BR kids

For a fourth year in a row, Istrouma Baptist Church is holding baseball/softball clinics for children throughout Baton Rouge and this year is distributing flyers to children at 20 public elementary and middle schools in town.

The clinics, known as Operation First Base, offer free instruction from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday from area baseball and softball teams, and the food is free as well, courtesy of the church.

The clinics will be offered at eight parks in Baton Rouge and one in Port Allen: Cypress Mounds Baseball Complex, Alaska Street Park, Saia BREC Park, Howell Community BREC Park, Cadillac Street Park, Anna T. Jordan Community Park, Tams Drive BREC Park, Istrouma Baptist Athletic Complex and Rivault Park in Port Allen.

The clinics are open to children ages 6 to 14.

“The vision of the event is to build relational bridges among community members through sports,” said M.L. Woodruff, director of the Istrouma Sports Organization.

Woodruff said he hopes Sunday’s event serves as the springboard for reviving an inner-city baseball league in Baton Rouge.

Sunday’s event is a collaboration among Istrouma Baptist, the BRAVE anti-crime program, the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission, Cypress Mounds Baseball Complex and Rivault Park in Port Allen.

Baseball and softball teams providing free instruction are LSU at Eunice and Baton Rouge Community College, as well as Brusly, Central, Dunham, Dutchtown, Parkview Baptist, Port Allen, St. Amant, St. Michael’s, Scotlandville and Zachary high schools.