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Haley Jean Carkitto

"Batter Up”

Haley addressed the issue of the number of girls enrolled in softball decreasing in Long Valley.  Haley also knew that the Long Valley Girls Softball Association was having trouble recruiting adults to help with their program at all levels, and on their Executive Board.  She saw this as a problem in her community and wanted to do something about it.  Girls need a strong softball program that is fun, encourages team playing and a healthy lifestyle.

To address this issue, Haley decided to put up a softball batting cage in one of Long Valley’s main parks, outfit the cage with new batting equipment and provide batting fundamentals instruction. This helped Long Valley in a number of ways. For the girls in town it helped to improve their skills.  It also helped improve the self-confidence of the girls (practice makes perfect!).  Haley’s project provided them with a place to practice their hitting free of any charge.  Many safety issues were resolved, as the girls are no longer swinging out in the open with the potential to hit someone with a bat or a ball.

Haley’s project helped to elevate the level of play of all girls in town for the Softball Association. The new batting cages have encouraged proper skill development, as each girl now has the opportunity for one on one coaching when practicing in the cage.  These cages show that the Softball Association is committed to softball and getting girls involved, as the batting cage has become very a visible structure seen even from a distance. Her instructional clinic along with new equipment has helped to recruit new players as well as new coaches for the Softball Association.

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