March 11, 2019 | by Bruce Levy

Last month, BMR Energy collaborated with the Caribbean Educational and Baseball Foundation (CEBF) to support their mission of enhancing quality of life for Caribbean youth through educational, cultural and sports-related programming. As community advocates in the areas where we operate projects, we were delighted to partner with CEBF to help reignite the game of baseball in Jamaica and invite a hometown pro, and former All-Star Pitcher, and Kingston born, Justin Masterson, back to make that happen in the parishes surrounding our wind farm.

Bringing it home

Jamaica’s first introduction to baseball was back in November 1905 when two U.S. Navy Cruisers put on a game on the island and drew a crowd. Baseball has since made an impact on the region, and a few Caribbean nations have embraced the game as their country’s historic pastime as much as the U.S. The Caribbean is also home to a few professional players who made it big and played Major League Baseball (MLB) in America.

Batter up!

Our team co-hosted the two-day baseball event featuring Justin Masterson, who ran a series of skills clinics and scrimmage games for Kingston area youth at the National Stadium in Kingston and nearby GC Foster College and then in St. Elizabeth Parish at Treasure Beach. Justin and other coaches engaged with more than 200 kids from participating local schools, teaching some the basics of “catch and throw” while helping some of the older players improve their technique around the base path. Justin also held a baseball signing for an opportunity to meet with the pitcher one on one at the conclusion of each event.

Extending the wins

Across the three events, over two hundred mitts, one hundred and fifty baseballs and seventy-five bats were distributed left behind for the kids to keep exploring the game. More than 30 local teachers are now interested in starting a baseball curriculum to continue the event’s momentum. We’re thankful the former Boston Red Sox player was able return to Kingston to share his passion for the sport and support both our and CEBF’s missions. The event knocked it out the park thanks to collaboration with the Jamaica Institute of Sports (INSPORTS), U.S. Embassy, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Baseball Association and Jamaica Little League Baseball.

Tools for success

Our vision for BMR Energy is to not only bring change to the Caribbean by building renewable energy sites but to also go beyond the project and improve the lives of people where we work. Tools and training unlock new opportunities. Since arriving in Jamaica with the construction of our St. Elizabeth wind farm, we’ve strived to be good neighbors by providing infrastructure upgrades like glass windows and playsets for schools as well as professional development to build technical skills. This baseball event is a fun extension of this vision, with bats and gloves for tools and swinging and teamwork for training that we hope will ultimately inspire more than just games.

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Originally published on: LinkedIn