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P.E.I. program Girls at Bat ready to hit a home run

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. - P.E.I. Government photo

Program receives grant from Health and Wellness

Girls at Bat is a new, free program open to girls in Grades 5 and at Prince Street Elementary School in Charlottetown.

The program offers a learning experience by introducing young girls to baseball who may not have the opportunity to use sports as an avenue to friendship and learning. It recently received a wellness grant from Health and Wellness to support its efforts helping to develop physical, leadership, life skills and make the social and emotional connections which come along with being part of a team.

Megan Dorrell, the project support officer with Women’s Network P.E.I., said a lot of girls drop out of sports by junior high.

“By working with this age group, we hope to instill a love of sport and the confidence and physical literacy to make healthy choices in the future.”

Her goal is to reach girls who may not otherwise be involved in organized sports and who may lack other outlets for healthy physical activity, she said.

“Our target is girls that have barriers to playing team sports – whether it’s a lack of exposure, financial barriers, or other social, emotional or economic barriers. For most of our participants, this is the first time they have been part of a team.”

Along with physical literacy the program focuses on healthy eating as they bring a healthy snack each week Dorrell said.

“We also focus on goal setting, problem solving, leadership skills and social skills.”

The program gives girls more than just a few hours of healthy competition. It can help them develop skills they can carry through their teens into adulthood, said Dorrell.

At a glance

- Girls at Bat is a collaboration between The Woman’s Network P.E.I., the Jays Care Foundation, Baseball P.E.I. and the Department of Health and Wellness;

- The Wellness Grant Program provides funding up to $5,000 to support initiatives and projects guided by principles and strategies of health promotion in priority areas of the P.E.I. Wellness Strategy, including: physical activity and reduction in sedentary behaviour, living tobacco free, healthy eating, consuming alcohol responsibly, mental health promotion;

- For more information on on the Women's Network P.E.I. and its programming, visit Wnpei.org.

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