A local traveling softball team will travel the extra distance to a different country to spread its love for softball and its religious beliefs.
The Georgia Rockers fast pitch softball team will travel to Guatemala on June 1 on a mission trip. The team will stay in Guatemala City for one week, teaching girls the sport, as well as their beliefs.
“The main purpose of the trip is to show God’s love through softball,” Rockers coach Will Collins said. “We hope we can make an impact on the lives of girls in Guatemala, and at the same time, impact our girls and parents back here in Augusta.”
The Rockers are comprised of high school sophomore and junior girls, as well as one senior, from Evans, Harlem and Cross Creek high schools.
The majority of them will reach the college level in softball after participating in showcases and tournaments throughout their careers with the traveling team. The trip to Guatemala will serve as a way to spread their knowledge of the sport through morning clinics with young girls in the city.
Leigh Collins, the other half of the husband-wife coaching duo, said the Rockers are also planning to play the Guatemala junior national team during the trip, with game times currently being arranged.
However, both coaches made it clear the main goal of the trip is to teach the girls in Guatemala City about God, as well as further develop the team’s own understandings and beliefs.
“It’s about humbling themselves,” Will Collins said. “We’ll teach kids who are happy with not having anything. The main thing is when these girls come back and have their eyes open and stories they can share, that’s really the gist of it.”
Leigh Collins said other possible plans for the trip include visiting an orphanage and having members of the team share their testimonies. Many of the girls have been preparing their testimonies for the trip in order to impact the lives of the girls at the softball clinics.
“We all love softball,” said Bailee Hall, a sophomore at Cross Creek. “We’re hoping to go teach girls our sport and hopefully get to talk to them about the word of God. Hopefully we’ll change their lives while they’re changing ours.”
There are currently 10 girls from the team making the trip. It is the first trip of this kind for most of the members, and the team expressed its excitement in traveling and for its purpose.
“I’m hoping it will make me appreciate what I have now more,” said Alexis Schlein, a sophomore at Evans. “We want to make sure those kids know and understand God.”