BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The smallest Orioles fans hit the diamond Wednesday to play. The O’s are promoting a lifetime of activity for youth.
As Gigi Barnett explains, it’s a national event coming to every major league stadium.
It may not be the routine Orioles’ players use to stay fit and game ready but for the youngest O’s fans, it’s the movement that will keep obesity at bay.
“When these children become older and if they’re obese and not fit, they run into problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease,” said Orioles Head Athletic Trainer Richie Bancells.
So 75 kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore shuffled, jumped hurdlers and fielded balls, all through Major League Baseball’s PLAY Program, which stands for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth. It starts with healthy habits like eating better and sleeping more.
All coaches here are by the same trainers who work with the O’s.
But the PLAY program isn’t just about keeping fit. Trainers teach the dangers of steroids, too–a drug that’s plagued the sport for years. It’s a message the team hopes these kids get, especially if it comes from outfielder Adam Jones.
“You can’t take shortcuts in life, especially with steroids,” he said.
This year’s PLAY campaign will host events at all 30 major league baseball stadiums.
Each child who attended the play program Wednesday will get tickets to Wednesday night’s Orioles game.