From the city of Hayward:
HAYWARD — Registration has opened for the 2015 season of the free Hayward Junior Giants Program.
Boys and girls age 5 to 14 can sign up online at www.jrgiants.org.
Entering its 14th year, the free Junior Giants program has given thousands of Hayward youth the opportunity to learn basic baseball skills, as well as important character building and life skills in a fun, non-competitive environment.
Both boys and girls ages 5 to 14 are given the opportunity to play baseball, while focusing on the four bases of character development: confidence, teamwork, leadership and integrity. Each year, interest in the Hayward program grows.
A record number of families signed up last year and another large turnout is expected for the 2015 season.
There are over 21,000 children who participate in the Junior Giants program, in over 90 leagues across California and into Nevada and Oregon.
Not only does Hayward have one of the largest leagues in the program, it also has one of the best. The Hayward League of the Junior Giants was named as one of the top five “exemplary leagues” in an impact report prepared by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
The Hayward Junior Giants are a partnership between the Hayward Police Department’s Youth and Family Services Bureau, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, and the San Francisco Giants Community Fund.
The Giants Community Fund developed the program to give youth an alternative to drugs, gangs and crime.
Beyond baseball, players interact with school resource officers who coach the teams. The league also encourages healthy eating, violence prevention and the importance of education.
The season will kick off with the First Pitch Meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.
The first day of practices will be June 15. All games and practices take place at Larry Standley Field at Weekes Park.
Those taking part should register online before the First Pitch Meeting. Parent and community volunteers are also welcome.
Youth and Family Services Bureau staff will be available to help with online registration from 1 to 3 p.m. June 3 at the Weekes library branch and 5:30 to 7 p.m. June 9 at the Main Library.
For more information, call 510-293-7048 or go to http://yfsb.haywardpd.net.