BRAWLEY â€” The winter holiday vacations can be a great time to travel, relax and spend time with family, but even during times of relaxation there is also time to have fun and give back to the community that has given so much.
E1′ Fastpitch held its first ever softball skills camp on Dec 28 at Meserve park here, free of charge to softball youths of the Imperial Valley.
The camp featured more than 100 young athletes ready to learn from an elite group of former Imperial Valley softball stars who were ready to teach the next generation of hungry athletes some of what they have learned as they have trekked through high school and into the college ranks.
“It feels really good to be back and show all these kids what I have learned,” said Imperial High alumnus Ashley Caro who currently attends Iowa Western Community College where she plays outfield and pitcher for their softball program. “It feels good to give back to the valley.”
Taking place at Meserve field, the four-hour softball camp provided young athletes with an opportunity to work on fundamentals as well as meet some former Imperial Valley standout softball athletes who are also current collegiate softball athletes.
Two athletes who were more than exited to be back in their hometown of Brawley lend a helping hand were Cassi and Cortni Mendoza, two former Brawley Union High softball standouts.
“I think it’s really cool, because I never got the chance have an experience like this, from older people when I was younger,” said Cassi Mendoza of the inaugural event.
“Giving back to the kids I think is really important, just so they get a feel of what they want to when grow up and if they want to go to college,” added Cassi, who currently attends Indiana Tech University where she has contributed her softball career as well.
Cortni, who was experiencing her first collegiate winter break from Presentation College in Aberdeen South Dakota also jumped at the first chance to help be a part of the first E1 Fast Pitch Skills Camp.
“Coming back to the Valley is nice because this is where we grew up, and it’s nice to see all these girls come out and do what they want to do,” said Cortni of the camp. “It’s good that they have their parents here with them because our dad was always supportive to us and encouraged us to give back to people who need help.”
Fastpitch It Forward is a volunteer organization based in the Imperial Valley.
It is also an extension of E1 Training and Recruiting program and their focus is on working with youth softball athletes and are proactive in aid of collegiate scouting in the Imperial Valley in an effort to help young athletes continue their playing and educational careers at the next level.
With much success and many athletes in the collegiate ranks, for many of the volunteer camp coaches it was an opportunity to give back and help young athletes who are now in shoes they once filled not too long ago.
“We have been blessed with an opportunity to give back to our community by being able to assist so many families from the valley. In addition, our program has assisted families from all over California, Arizona and Texas. However, our commitment is to the Imperial Valley. We want to be a hand in assisting our youth to create life changing opportunities,” said J.J. Jimenez, founder of Fastpitch It Forward of their goals and mission.
“Want to Thank all of our supporters, our coaches, family and most importantly our returning Collegiate student athletes who are giving back to their communities by taking part in our Fastpitch It Forward program.”