2/15/2013 2:13 P.M. ET
Blue Jays hosting summer camps in 17 cities
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays' Super Camps are returning for a third consecutive year, the club announced Friday.
The Blue Jays Baseball Academy will conduct 17 Blue Jays Honda Super Camps across 10 provinces from March through August. The camps are designed to help grow the game and provide instruction over the course of several days to youths ages 9-16.
Blue Jays alumni and coaches will once again be taking part in the initiative that has grown in popularity during the past calendar year. It has now become an expected part of Toronto's involvement in the community and Baseball Canada.
The camps run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET and costs $230. Registration fees for some participants will be donated by the team through the Jays Care Foundation in conjunction with local Boys & Girls Clubs. Kids can register at bluejays.com/camps
Former Blue Jays players will once again be heavily involved in the project. Some of the alumni who are taking part include: Duane Ward, Roberto Alomar, Lloyd Moseby, Jesse Barfield, Carlos Delgado, Homer Bush, Cecil Fielder and Frank Catalanotto.
The Honda Super Camps have become a staple of the organization's community outreach programs. It's an opportunity for the club to expose itself to parts of the country that normally wouldn't have access.
"It is very important that we grow our programs nationally and not just in Toronto," Blue Jays vice president of business operations Stephen Brooks said. "As Canada's only Major League team, we are in a unique position to impact communities and promote baseball all through a consistent national program. It affords us an opportunity to make a significant impact.
"When you look at the initiatives of Jays Care Foundation and how those have now expanded literally coast to coast, as well as the growth in the participation in our camps across the country, I'm just so very proud of all our people who have worked tirelessly to make this happen."
In addition to the Super Camps, Toronto has created annual events like the Winter Tour along with initiatives by Jays Care Foundation to help build a strong fan base for the sport. The Blue Jays were recently given the Commissioner's Award for their off-the-field efforts.
A lot of initiatives are already in place, but with the Blue Jays as the only Major League team in Canada, there is still plenty of ground to cover and more programs to implement.
"From here, I think we continue to grow our investment in baseball and our communities nationally," Brooks said. "I think there is an opportunity to do more with the amateur coaching instructional elements. I think there are still many youth community needs that our foundation is very eager to get involved with across the country.
"We obviously have to be pragmatic about what we take on, but I think we can continue to do more. And with the quality partnerships in the community that we have established, I think it will continue to be a key to the growth and sustainability of the programs."