Hello all...and wishing you all a Merry Ukrainian Xmas (Jan 7) and the Happiest of New Years (Jan 14)
I am proud to announce that the Ukrainian Ministry of Sports and the Ukrainian Baseball Federation have added a 3rd baseball Championship using Little League rules to the official sports calendar.
This Championship is slated for June 23 - 27, 2010...city TBA
Please note that the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine is a full partner in all the Championships.
1. Children who are *12*, 13, or 14 as of April 30th of 2010 are eligible to compete.
(* any child competing at the 11 and 12 year old Championship CANNOT COMPETE A SECOND TIME)
2. Any LL program in Ukraine that registers 3 to 4 teams ages 9 -12 may send their 12 - 14 all - star team to the Championships. Any program which ONLY has children older than 12 playing baseball WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE AT THIS TIME.
3. Any internat (orphanage) that registers a 9 - 12 program may send their (junior team) children here.
SO THIS IS THE SECOND BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE HELD FOR CHILDREN FROM ORPHANAGES. In effect the LL program in Ukraine is now enabling children from ages 9 to 14 to remain in a LL baseball program.
Please note that this is the only program of its kind in the world.
I do need your help in 2010 to make this FIRST Ukraine Junior Championship a success.
What is needed??
1. I will fund the travel costs of all the Junior teams to and from the games.
2. Funds are needed to pay for housing and meals for the orphan teams.
3. Funds are needed to help pay for the housing and meals for the other children.
4. I will provide the baseballs and awards for all the children.
5. Funds are needed to provide a rich cultural program for all the children.
So friends.....please share this info with others.
Feel free to reach me with your comments and pledges of help.
Together we can make a difference in a child's life
Thank you again for helping me help the children in Ukraine.
Hi friends of Ukraine Little League baseball (Sept 22 - Oct 12, 2010)
Please take a look at my schedule,,,,,,any comments or suggestions are welcome (LL means Little League)
Thurs Sept 23 ,,, arrive into Kyiv,,,,at 13.00
Fri 9.24.....mtg.. Help Us Help the Children Fund.....Ukraine Ministry of Sports
afternoon mtg... Anglo - Ukr Energy Co and friends
Sat 9.25 drive to Ostroh Academy / Rivne....baseball and softball mtgs
Sun 9.26 drive to Lviv...meet Roman Leskiw, Assistant Director Ukraine LL Championship
Mon 9.27 in Lviv..mtg with potential new LL communities
Tues 9.28 met Catherine Dudchock, US Peace Corps volunteer, at 11am along with school directors, press, Mayor etc...in the town of Sosnivka (north of Lviv),,,topic : How to start a LL program in her small village?
Wed 9.29 drive to Kremenets, site of 3 rd Ukraine LL Baseball Championships for children from orphanages
Thurs 9.30 - Sun 10.3 Championship dates
Mon - Thurs 10.4 - 10.7 back to Ostroh Academy....conduct baseball practices in schools and orphanage there
Fri 10.8 - Sun 10.10 drive to Kozova / Ternopil to conduct 5th Ukraine Baseball and Softball clinic for new and inexperienced coaches in Kozova. Hostess is Camilla Pajor PCV from Woodhaven, NY.
Mon Oct 11 return to Kyiv....meetings
Tues Oct 12,,,return to USA
Trip 55 to Ukraine March 19 - April 1. 2010
For those of you who have helped in 2010, a huge thank you from the children.
Others who wish to help financially the funding of the three Ukraine Baseball Championships in 2010.....
Cherkasy June 16 - 20...... children 11 & 12 years of age
Kirovograd June 22 - 26.......children 13 & 14 years of age
Kremenets Sept 29 - Oct 3...children with no parents, orphan children
, or to help a special orphanage in Kremenets to complete the renovations of an art museum, dressing room and recital hall (story below), please contact me:
Basil P. Tarasko
District Administrator of the Little Leagues in Ukraine (1995)
Trip 55 to Ukraine to continue developing a youth baseball program.
March 19 - April 1, 2010.
Friday March 19, my Lufthansa flight arrived on time into Borispol airport. The first three bags, two of which were needed baseball equipment for schools and orphanages in Ukraine, were the first off the plane. Thanks again to Lufthansa for allowing extra baggage free of charge. Then the process of going through Customs and hearing the common refrain “ what is in those bags, what is the value and are you going to sell this at a bazaar?” To my surprise, the Ukraine Custom agent accepted my explanation.
Onto Hotel Lybid where i stayed and picked up a car from Hertz - Ukraine, the next morning. Since 2007, Hertz has provided me with a vehicle, free of charge, so I can visit schools and orphanages and provide assistance to current Little League Baseball programs and to visit potential new sites.
Saturday, March 20, I drove to Rivne to watch an indoor baseball tournament that day and on Sunday. What was unique was that two orphanages, one from Mizoch, the other from Kremenets participated against teams from Rivne, This is the first time that all children, with and without parents played against each other. I was asked to award certificates to all players that Sunday. What I did not like, for safety reasons, was the fact that 14 year olds pitched against 10 year olds. By rule 13s and 14s do not play against younger children. Adding to my concerns was the fact that the pitching distance was 46 ft for the 14 teen year, when by rule it should be 60 ft. In essence, the older child threw much faster than the younger child. I mention my deep concerns but I do not interfere in their policies.
Monday March 22. Drove to nearby Ostroh, a college town, for the Ostroh Academy. I had the pleasure of meeting with their dynamic Rector Ihor Pasichnyk. He promised to complete the construction of a softball field on the grounds of the Academy. That evening I conducted softball practice for the young ladies on the University team.
Tuesday March 23. Visited with Ms Lebid, Director of an orphanage for deaf students in Ostroh. Our discussions centered on re - starting their LL baseball program after being dormant for two years. Once I receive a list of students who want to play, then the process of sending them needed equipment will begin.
Wednesday March 24. Drove to Kremenets, Ternopil Oblast to visit the site of the 3rd Ukraine Little League Championships slated for late September. I met with the Volodymyr Ivanovich Mishko, the creative Director of the orphanage, to formulate plans for that Championships.
Then he asked me to follow him to a room. Above the door I saw the sign welcoming all to the Kremenets school museum. Why he took me there, was not apparent at first.
He showed me reproductions of Picasso, Van Gogh and other Masters. In addition there were some student work and originals from University art students in Ukraine. Then he took me to a smaller room which was being converted to a dressing area for artists. Still, I was still unsure why I was here. Then onto a larger room, under construction, which will have a small stage and seating for 50, which will be used as recital room.
Again, why was I brought here?
He answered, “there are orphans who don't like baseball and do not want to play soccer. Yet they have other talents such as painting, singing or playing an instrument.” He remarked “ I have to help those children to help them achieve their potential”.
Volodymyr asked me whether I knew where the funding came from to start this project. Again, I did not. He said that the funds came from me. From me? Volodymyr explained. Last fall when I organized the 2nd Ukraine LL Baseball Championship for orphans in Kremenets, all the teams were housed and were fed at the orphanage. Well, I paid all the expenses to the Director. It was not my money, but the funds came from four main sponsors, the Chopivsky Foundation, Self Reliance (NY) Federal Credit Union, The California Association to Aid Ukraine and the Anglo - Ukraine - Energy Company.
Volodymyr could have used these funds in so many different ways. You have heard stories about abuses involving funds. Here the monies to house and feed orphans was actually turned around to ultimately help painters, singers and performers achieve their dreams. I did not fully understand all this at first.
Then, I realized that Volodymyr truly cares about all his children, athletes and those with artistic skills. He never asked for a single cent, ever from me.
Lets help this man complete the dressing room and recital hall. Please contact me to make this possible. Here I am a baseball man and yet drawn to the children with other skills too. Please help.
Thursday March 25. Drove to Ivano - Frankivsk to speak to all the phys - ed teachers there about the meaning of the Little League Baseball program. But on the way to Ivano, I drove to Kozova, west of Ternopil, to visit Camile Pajor, a Peace Corps Volunteer from Woodhaven, Queens NY. This dynamic young lady with excellent Ukrainian speaking skills invited me to speak to the Director of her school, the Head of Prosvita in their city and three phys - ed teachers about starting a LL program at their school. Just last week I received a list of 54 children or five teams which will begin to play baseball as soon as the equipment arrives.
For 2010, five new communities joined the Ukraine LL program. Chernivtsi, New Kisiliev, Uman, Crimea and Kozova. This is the biggest increase ever for the LL program in Ukraine.Friday, March 26. I met with twenty - one teachers for a full day explaining the philosophy of the LL program, how to start the program and a full demonstration of the basic skills needed to play baseball. There were a few teachers who showed a great interest in starting the LL program in their schools. Lets see what happens.
Sunday, March 28. Drove back to Kyiv and I continued to enjoy the art of avoiding the numerous pot holes on the roads. Even paid a 100 hryvnia fine for speeding....hmmmmmm.
Monday March 29. Switched vehicles, my Kia, broke down. So Vitaliy Lizogubenko, Baseball developer for Ukraine and my assistant and I drove to Cherkasy to meet with Mr. Sergiy Gura, Deputy Mayor of Cherkasy to finalize the plans to have the 11th Ukraine Little League Championships in Cherkasy June 16 - 20. Mr. Gura approved fields for baseball use and the city will provide a Cultural program for all the children.
Tuesday March 30. Back in Kyiv for a meeting with Douglass P. Teschner, Ed.D. newly appointed Director of US Peace Corps/Ukraine. It turns out Douglass is a huge Red Sox fan witnessed by his well worn cap. We spoke about the increasing number of US Volunteers conducting baseball camps for Ukrainian children during the summer months. Also, in the last few years Volunteers have served as umpires and scorers at various Ukraine LL Championships. Our young players remark that they have no idea who will win the game because “Americans” are umpiring. I extended an invitation for Director Teschner to throw out the first pitch for the LL Championships game in Cherkasy on June 20. This would be a first. He quickly wrote it in his personal calendar. Mission accomplished.
Later that day, I met Mr. Gennady Matyukhin, Director of the Anglo- Ukr - Energy company who were one of the sponsors of the second Ukraine LL Championships for orphaned children in October of 2009. I was assured that their financial support will continue in 2010. And thanks to Patrick J. Kealy, Director General, for authorizing this wonderful support of orphaned children.
Wednesday, March 31. Met with Anatoliy Domashenko, the new Deputy Minister, of the Ukraine Ministry of Sports to discuss continued cooperation between the Ministry and the Ukraine LL program. Mr. Domashenko values the ideals and philosophy of Little League.
The highlight of all the meetings was once again meeting and speaking with Mr. Sergiy Bubka, President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine. Mr. Bubka strongly supports the Little League baseball program. Last fall, the Olympic Committee donated numerous Olympic souvenirs to the orphan children who competed at the LL Championships for orphans in Kremenets. This year, all children competing at three Ukraine Baseball Championships will receive souvenirs from the Ukraine Olympic Committee.
Well, ten cities in thirteen days brings me back to New York to my High School baseball coaching duties.
Then June 10th,, trip 56 to Ukraine to direct two Ukraine Baseball Championships.