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Children take over Southwest University Stadium during first bi-national Play Ball event

Hundreds of children from around the borderland took over Southwest University Park Saturday.

The El Paso Border Youth Athletic Association worked with the Major League Baseball to hold the first binational Play Ball event and bring baseball and softball to children from the US and Mexico.

“Simply put, you have a lot of kids here who want to play baseball and softball and we want to support them…sure if we get those players that can transition that can play in college, play in the pros that’s great, but we want to help develop major league citizens,” said David James, youth programs vice president with Major League Baseball.

It’s opportunities like these, national team players said, that can push even more children to chase their dreams.

“I grew up in a small town, I didn’t have that opportunity. So being able to come out and teach kids drills gives them that opportunity we never had,” Erika Bennett, a Mexico National Softball Player.

While the children ran drills and enjoyed hitting the balls, those helping out said it was about more than just teaching them baseball skills, but about giving children more opportunity.

“If this is a kind of leeway to get into something that gives them purpose or gives them joy in their lives I think it’s awesome,” explained Sara Plourde, a Canada National Softball Player.

“Being able to show them that this is fun, this is life, whatever they do in life go full at it and support them all the way,” Bennett said.

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