HERMOSA BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Baseball legends Tommy Lasorda, Bobby Valentine and Eric Karros are leading a group of five coaches and 12 youth baseball players aged 13 and under, to Cuba in a cultural exchange program in partnership with Steel Sports Inc. and Cuba’s National Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER).
Steel Sports Inc., along with Advisory Board Members Lasorda, Valentine, and Karros, were invited to bring the 13U baseball team, LA Steel Elite, to Cuba to encourage more interaction between Cuban and American children and to have the children learn more about each respective culture.
“We are thrilled to be invited to Cuba and deeply appreciate the chance for American and Cuban children to get to know each other and bond over baseball – a shared passion of both counties,” said Warren Lichtenstein, founder and chairman of Steel Sports Inc. “This trip will be a week of great events, baseball games, and friendship.”
The cultural exchange trip will be one of the first times a youth baseball team from America has visited the country since President Obama’s historic state visit this past March. It will also be the first time that a team of 12 and 13 year-olds will play games that are not a part of any official tournament in the country’s legendary Estadio Latinoamericano stadium.
For former Los Angeles Dodgers manager and cultural ambassador of baseball, Tommy Lasorda, the trip will be his first trip to the country in 40 years. Lasorda pitched for the Cuban baseball club Almendares, and won the Caribbean World Series in 1959.
After arriving in Havana, Cuba on Sunday June 19th, the American youth baseball players will be treated to a lecture on the history of baseball in Cuba, one of several educational workshops and community-building events planned throughout the trip.
The Steel Elite and Federacion Cubana de Beisbol (FCB) staff will also have opportunities to share best practices on coaching baseball through several conversations, group dinners, and a scheduled conference entitled “Sports in Cuba.”
As a token of appreciation for playing against some of the country’s premier youth baseball talent, LA Steel Elite team members will be bringing hundreds of baseballs, bats, and other baseball equipment for their Cuban counterparts.
The trip is planned for June 18-25, and will be sponsored by Steel Sports and Steel Partners Foundation.
About Steel Sports:
Founded in 2011, Steel Sports Inc. is committed to improving the youth sports experience and enriching children's lives. Our organization recognizes the value that sports and fitness has in providing meaningful and life-changing experiences for our nation's youth. We invest in and acquire participatory and experience-based businesses in the youth sports and exercise marketplace, emphasizing a positive and fun environment while instilling our values of discipline, teamwork, safety, respect and integrity. The Steel Coaching System is implemented with each portfolio company to ensure our coaches are educated and prepared to have a positive impact on our athletes. Our core businesses include: the National Youth Baseball Championship, the country’s premier travel ball championship for ages 9U-14U; Baseball Heaven, a 30-acre baseball complex in Long Island; and UK Elite, one of the largest soccer programs in the country offering programs such as summer camps, coaching services, teams, and tournaments.