Chattanooga youth sports program changing lives of its players
A sports program in Chattanooga is encouraging young people to not only have a good time, but to become a part of something positive.
A sports program in Chattanooga is encouraging young people to not only have a good time, but to become a part of something positive. It's called the Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities program or RBI and it's changing the lives of its players.
Sunday's game at AT&T Field was part of RBI's Southeast Regional Tournament. Jordan Ransom has been playing for the RBI program in Chattanooga for the last three years.
As he gets ready to head off to college, he told Channel 3 his experience went beyond the baseball field.
"All the friendships, the coaches helped me a lot. They helped me get into college," Ransom said.
Those are just a few ways Chattanooga's RBI program is making a mark. It's been around for five years and right now around 1,600 kids and teens are involved by either playing baseball or softball.
"It gives young people an opportunity to get involved in something positive and learn from so many different mentors who are their coaches and who play a special role in their lives," Greta Hayes, Director of Recreation for Youth & Family Development.
The program is under the MLB and just like the major leagues, they compete with other teams. 26 teams were at this weekend's tournament and the experience taught some valuable lessons.
"It teaches them about winning, about losing, about team work, about how to play a role on a team. Those are some of the same things you face within your life," Hayes said.
For those who have spent years playing for the team, they said their coaches became family. It's another reason why they say they're thankful for joining the program.
"It's all about them and just how they helped me grow as a person and as a player," Ransom said.
Jordan and his teammates won the U-18 regional championship 6-4 against Montgomery on Sunday. They will now head to Cincinnati next month for the RBI World Series.