Dennis explained to me that in South Africa, Baseball is not a highly federally funded sport. The Umpires there are not paid by the country or the teams. They volunteer their time and incur expenses to ensure the game is played. Often driving over 2 hours to games. The Players pay their own way at all levels and therefore money in the sport is very tight. Also, he explained that because it is not as popular, equipment is next to impossible to find for players, and absolutely impossible for umpires. They are a small but strong and proud baseball community that over the last few years, they have produced 2 Major League Ballplayers - one of those, Gift Ngoepe Played for the Toronto Blue Jays.
In discussion, Dennis invited me to come to South Africa and Umpire their Junior or Senior National Championships. He explained they do not get a lot of umpires from other parts of the world and are always looking for new and innovative ways to learn and grow their sport. Together we devised a much bigger plan,
I am going to South Africa for 15-20 days looking to accomplish 3 main goals in March of 2020.
1. To run 2-4 Umpire Clinic's throughout South Africa to teach the basic skills and rules of Baseball. To expand the number of Umpires they might have available in the country.
2. To Umpire at the Junior and Senior Championships, and expand the learning and growth of the high-level umpires in the country.
3. To bring with me donations of Equipment to be distributed to the people and schools of South Africa.
This Go Fund Me is set up to help achieve those goals.
This is an expensive endeavor, but I am hoping I can count on your support.
The Money raised will go towards - Approx 50% to Travel, Accommodations and Expenses, and Approx 50% will go to purchase new equipment to bring with me. I will also be accepting donations of Used Equipment as well.