Carteret, NJ – Young athletes have converged on Carteret’s newly restored Civic Center Park ball fields for the beginning of the town’s summer Softball Camp. The popular program, which is a continuation from previous years, welcomes girls from 3rd grade up to participate in 4 hours of daily softball instruction and game play.
Benefitting from Civic Center Park’s new state-of-the-art ball fields which were unveiled this past spring, the program has attracted hundreds of participants over the years. This year’s camp includes players from Basking Ridge, Kearny, and Fords, making 2008 the first year that players from outside Carteret have participated. According to instructor and long-time softball coach Randy Krum, the clinics are about individual improvement, but can also lead to varsity sports and beyond. With a focus on the fundamentals and techniques of softball, including hitting, fielding, throwing, base running, sliding, and tag-ups, many youngsters nurture abilities that they retain through college.
“Many of these kids will go on to play division 1 through division 3 collegiate softball,” Krum stated. “So there is a focus on preparing some of our older players for High School softball, and keeping that team in the high standing it has enjoyed. But we have participants as young as 8 and 9 years old, so the focus isn’t predominantly on winning or losing, but individual improvement, and most of all, fun.”
Coach Krum has hosted the series every summer it has been offered in the past 6 years, and has coached recreational softball for 20 years. Carteret’s 12U players have been able to boast 7 championship victories out of 11 tournaments in the past 2 years alone. There is a strong emphasis on local athletics, according to Krum and Mayor Reiman, who pointed out that many of Carteret’s youngsters earn their way into college via varsity athletics;
“The innate value of our athletic programs is clear,” Mayor Reiman added. “We have a rich tradition of athletics in Carteret, and our community is very supportive of our youngsters. But these programs can also give kids the tools they need to establish and meet their own goals, and to earn a sense of pride and self respect. These things are values that many will carry on into their adulthood.”
Mayor Reiman commended Coach Krum for taking vacation time from work to host the camp, and for all of the time he has given over the years to coach girls’ softball.
Carteret Summer Softball Camp is being held at Civic Center Park, August 4-8, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.