Are The Best Children Selected For The Dutch Baseball Academies?

Recently, yours truly had a conversation with a baseball loving friend about the four baseball academies in the Netherlands and how they select players. In this conversation, yours truly expressed his doubt about children of poor families being selected because playing for an academy is rather expensive.

We both thought that children from poor families did not get a chance because their parents cannot afford to pay these big amounts. We were pretty much convinced that because of this, the best players are not always selected by the four baseball academies.

But how wrong we were… Yours truly kept thinking about this eventual hiatus, so he decided to collect some information. But that information was not easy to find. Three of the four academies have a website with lots of information but only one academy, the Scimitars from Bussum, has put the contribution online. Yours truly knew that playing for a baseball academy is far from cheap, but the amount of the membership fee at the website of the Scimitars exceeded my expectations. It is possible to get a reduction, but you have to meet some standards, which can be found on the website of Scimitars.

A good thing about the website of the Scimitars is that it shows a link to a foundation that helps poor families to pay for the contribution of sporting clubs, so children can practice the sport they want (Jeugdfonds Sport en Cultuur = Youth Foundation Sports and Culture). But… since every municipality has its own rules. Some pay the full amount of membership fee for the children but some only parts.

So yours truly started to ask questions at the various baseball academies. So far three of the four have answered. Let’s take the Diamonds Baseball Academy in Amsterdam for example. The city of Amsterdam is paying the full amount of membership fee, so children from poor families can still practice baseball at the Diamonds Baseball Academy.

Another municipality like Baarn, close to Bussum and the Scimitars, is only paying a part. When yours truly asked what would happen in cases like this, the spokesperson of Scimitars guaranteed that no children will be excluded, even if their parents cannot afford to pay for the membership fee. In fact, the Scimitars also have a foundation that helps underprivileged children, so they can play baseball at the academy in Bussum.

The situation with the Unicorns Baseball Academy in Rotterdam is not much different. Also the city of Rotterdam has its own foundation but the amounts they pay are depending on the income of the parents. Also the spokesperson of the Unicorns Baseball Academy, guaranteed that no children will be excluded if their parents cannot pay the membership fee for their kids. How? That wasn’t really explained. But it is good to know that no children are excluded.

So we can say that despite a miserable financial situation, children of poorer families can still be a member of the three aforementioned baseball academies thanks to several foundations but also thanks to the academies themselves.

And of course, when a kid is picked to play for an academy, it will take some time before you know if he/she was worth the selection but at least children of poor families get the same chances, something yours truly feared it was not the case.