RED CLOUD GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Military spouses and their children gathered on the Red Cloud Garrison Softball Field April 15 to learn Start Smart Baseball, a program operated by Child Youth and School Services.

The Start Smart program introduces a variety of sports to children with the aim of keeping sports and fitness an integral part of their future, said Karen Moore, a Child Youth Program assistant of CYSS on Red Cloud Garrison.

This Start Smart Program was developed by CYSS to focus on fundamental motor skills development, parent-child participation, and to help create a fun atmosphere for enjoyment and team play.

Children who enter youth sports programs with fundamental motor skill competence and confidence are likely to improve their motor skills, Moore said. They are also likely to learn new, more complex, specific skills, be successful in competition and have a positive sport experience.

And children who have successful and positive sport experiences continue to participate and are likely to pursue physical activity as adults.

"The Youth Sports Activity hopes that each of you will realize that any type of decision we make concerning our program will be in the best interest of the children," Moore said.

Start Smart Baseball is an exercise for throwing, catching, batting, and running, which are all intended results of the program. The program's primary aim is improving self-confidence and skill levels in children.

"What we're going to do for Smart Start Baseball is teach them how to throw a ball, how to catch a ball, how to hit a ball and run," Moore noted.

She added: "They're still learning how to use motor skills; we're going to set them up here."

"It's hard to imagine that people assume you can hit the ball and run well," Moore continued. They don't think back when they were learning how to run, how to kick, how to catch, and how to throw. They're learning step by step and the important thing is teaching all kids how to do it."

The baseball program is only for children ages 3 to 5. But Anthony Nanes, CYSS sports director, will be conducting activities for older children, such as swimming, cheer camp and soccer.

Other coming attractions include story time and gymnastics in the Carrey Fitness Center.

"Those programs give parents an opportunity to exercise with their children," she said.

"The Youth Sports Activity hopes that each of you will realize that any type of decision we make concerning your child's development will be in the best interest of the children."