Contributed photo Brian Young and his son, Brody, are in Costa Rica this month, helping to teach local youth about the game.

South Surrey baseball family aims to grow game in Costa Rica

WRSSBA donates equipment for month-long trip

A Semiahmoo Peninsula family left this week for Costa Rica, where they plan to spend the next month distributing baseball gear and running clinics in small town of Paraiso.

Brian Young and his 11-year-old son, Brody – a member of the White Rock-South Surrey Baseball Association – will lead the clinics, helping not only youth learn the game, but also the town’s local coach – a man named Joseph who, the elder Young explained, organizes everything from soccer to dance to music in the small Central American town.

“In Costa Rica, there’s a love of baseball there – you can tell when you talk to people – but there’s really no infrastructure or equipment to play the game,” said Young, who has been travelled to the country for business for the last decade.

“Soccer is number-one by far – they actually make baseball for Major League Baseball in Costa Rica, but not that many people play. Nicaragua, just to the north, and Panama just south – those are big baseball countries, but soccer is just easier to play because all you need is a ball.”

The Youngs are bringing with them not just their baseball expertise, but also a team’s worth of equipment – an equipment bag, bats, catcher’s gear and bases donated by WRSSBA, as well as about a dozen gloves which were donated when “a couple families got together.”

Young, who connected with Joseph through a mutual friend in the country, said it was important to him to hook up with an established sports group in Paraiso, but sports – and other activities – are much more loosely organized there than at home. Joseph, he said, is “the guy” in town who organizes youth sports and stores equipment.

“We didn’t want to just bring all this stuff down there and have it disappear – we wanted someone to look after it, be in charge of it,” Young explained.

“The key is to involve some local people. I’ve done things in the past where you come in a build a school, or things like that – but if you don’t involve the locals, and get them involved, it doesn’t stick. If they do it with you… they’ll feel some ownership of it.”

Young said Brody was also “very excited” to teach other youngsters the sport, though Young admitted that the language barrier could prove to be a roadblock, at least in the early going.

“We don’t speak Spanish, but baseball fundamentals are baseball fundamentals,” he said.

Young added that after this first visit, they’ll return again in the spring, with the eventual goal being to have enough equipment to outfit two youth teams. As well, they’ll look to convert one of the many small soccer fields in the area into a baseball diamond, so youth have a place to play longterm.

“We’re really just planting the seeds this time.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rivers could rise rapidly as heavy rains hit Lower Mainland

Larger rivers to reach peak levels on Thursday or into Friday, according to high streamflow advisory

Transgender Surrey brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Two Surrey women win BC Sports Hall of Fame awards for inspired service

Jane Blaine and Wendy Pattenden recognized during virtual summit

Horgan says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

Surrey election battle heating up over Doug McCallum’s controversial cop transition

Sullivan Heights, Tamanawis each report second COVID-19 exposures

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

UPDATE: Abbotsford high school killer back in court for ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing

Gabriel Klein was previously convicted of stabbing Letisha Reimer to death

Rainfall warning says significant showers forecast for entire region

Rain moving across Howe Sound, The Fraser Valley and northern parts of Metro Vancouver this morning.

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Most Read