Nigeria is the second African country Angels at Bat supplied equipment to; the first shipment to Nigeria occurred in 2018. The story of how Angels at Bat connected with Nigeria and who the recipients are has garnered lots of support.
In 2018, Angels at Bat received an email from Aina Oluwafemi. Aina is the head coach and leader of Ado-Ekiti Little League in Western Nigeria. Aina, like many others, reached out to us asking for support by Angels at Bat because they have a passion for baseball and softball but lack the equipment to play. Angels at Bat collects equipment year round in many locations throughout the USA, so we never have a shortage of baseball and softball equipment; with this in mind, we asked Aina if he knew of a way to get equipment to him. Luckily, he did have a connection.
Aina connected us with his friend Emmanuel who lives in Minnesota. Emmanuel often sends vehicles from Minnesota to his home country of Nigeria, and he graciously agreed to allow Angels at Bat to send equipment through him. In 2018, we drove from Green Bay, WI to Minnesota where we dropped off a load of equipment with Emmanuel.
We now drive out to Minnesota when Aina asks us for more equipment, and he graciously distributes equipment throughout his Little League. Ado-Ekiti Little League is officially registered with Little League International, and we hope to see teams from Nigeria represent Africa in Williamsport in the future.
The Story of Phillip
When Aina reached out to us, he also mentioned that one of his players' gloves was recently sent to Williamsport and put in the World of Little League Museum. He told us about this boy named Phillip who made his own glove out of cardboard. We were amazed to hear this because we had read a story about this homemade Nigerian glove that is being featured in Williamsport (to read more about Phillip's story, clink this link).
Inspired by the passion Phillip has for the game of baseball, we knew that we had to get equipment to him and his teammates. As a part of our first shipment to Nigeria, we made sure that Phillip would get a quality glove. We happily sent Phillip and his teammates plenty of equipment, and gave him a choice in a couple of gloves. See the below images to see Phillip and his new glove as well as Aina and his many proud players.