MLB First Pitch programme has big impact as London Series returns

Threequarters of participants feeling more confident to take part in sport and physical activity and 61% feeling more resilient

As the attention of the baseball world turns to the London Stadium for the Major League Baseball London Series, the Youth Sport Trust are releasing results from the Major League Baseball (MLB) First Pitch Programme that saw over 14,000 young people from more than 300 schools take part, including 50 schools in London.

The London Series is back this summer as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies meet in a two-game regular-season series on June 8th and 9th at the former Olympic Stadium in London. Students from 29 schools will be meeting the teams and taking part in a workout day at the stadium on the 7th June, while also taking a keen interest will be thousands of students aged 8-12 from across the country who have taken part in the MLB First Pitch programme and gained new skills, confidence and enjoyment of physical activity along the way.

MLB First Pitch is delivered in partnership with MLB and BaseballSoftball UK, the national governing body for baseball and softball and uses the sport of baseball as a tool to get young people interested in and engaged in physical activity. Schools are provided with fun and inclusive resources to help spark an interest in physical activity and sport through learning how to play baseball and developing basic skills.

The programme has had a hugely positive impact with nearly threequarters of participants feeling more confident to take part in sport and physical activity and 61% feeling more resilient as a result of taking part in the programme.

Vicci Wells, Head of Sport at Youth Sport Trust said:

“The MLB First Pitch programme has been incredibly successful in engaging young people in physical activity who might not otherwise have been reached by other, more traditional sports. 47% of students taking part were from ethnically diverse communities, with 36% of students in receipt of free school meals. Both of these numbers are above the national average which shows the significant reach and impact this programme is having on reaching a diverse audience of participants who may not have been engaged in sport otherwise.”

You can find out more about the legacy impact of the London Series here as well as find out where your nearest baseball or softball team plays.

Published on 7 June 2024