After the Mamie "Peanut" Johnson Little League baseball team won the D.C. Little League Championship on July 24, the team practices at the Nationals Baseball Academy on July 30. According to the Little League schedule, the team advanced to the regional tournament in Bristol, Connecticut, which begins Aug. 5. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
After the Mamie "Peanut" Johnson Little League baseball team won the D.C. Little League Championship on July 24, the team practices at the Nationals Baseball Academy on July 30. According to the Little League schedule, the team advanced to the regional tournament in Bristol, Connecticut, which begins Aug. 5. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy this month started its fall season of YBA PLAY grassroots clinics with Nike as the presenting sponsor.

For six years, YBA PLAY has offered free instructional clinics to children ages 6 to 12 in underserved communities. The children get the chance to learn and embrace the game of baseball with year-round clinics and summer league teams.

This is the first time Nike, which serves as the official uniform and footwear supplier of Major League Baseball, has served as the presenting sponsor. The company will direct financial support for program operations and equipment along with apparel for summer league uniforms.

“Consistent access to sports is critical to youth development, providing personal growth opportunities and positive life outcomes for kids,” said Nick Sussman, director of sports programs at Nationals Academy. “YBA PLAY makes baseball fun for children in Wards 7 and 8, giving them the tools to succeed on the field while keeping it easy for them to come back to the support. Support from Nike underscores just how important grassroots sports are for growing the game and helping our communities.”

Nationals Academy officials say more than 600 youth are slated to participate in YBA PLAY clinics in four sites. Since its inception, more than 3,900 young people have participated in the program.

In addition to Nike, other sponsors of YBA PLAY are Fight for Children, Joseph E. Robert Jr., Charitable Trust and the Seeber Family.

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