Meet Ciara, Celine, Natalie, Darelyn, and Lena. Prior to coaching for the 2021 RBI Softball league, these young women were proud players for the RBI 18U Nationals. We’re proud to have them back in a leadership capacity this season. Here’s how they went from RBI players to volunteer coaches.
After aging out of the RBI Softball program last fall, these lifelong friends were in search of a way to stay connected on the ballfield. Collectively, they reached out to their former RBI head coach and learned that there was a need for additional RBI softball coaches this season. According to Celine, current head coach for the 15U Softball Nationals, there was a resounding “Yes!” all around as she and her old teammates were pleased to accept the invitation to coach a team together. Little did they know, more would be required from them, but these shining stars were ready for a challenge. Long before joining the RBI Softball league, each of them were young leaders in the making.
Celine, Ciara, and Natalie grew up together playing select ball up until high school; then the three of them met Lena and Darelyn upon joining the RBI Softball league. They played together for three years – growing their friendship and becoming better ballplayers. Between hangouts, birthday parties, and games, they developed an undeniable bond. This enabled them to navigate the good times and the bad times together, both on and off the field.
In spite of college, work, and all the responsibilities that come with their now adult lives, each of them returned home to fulfill their new volunteer coaching roles this season. So far, our 2021 15U Softball league has greatly benefited from it.
In the week before their first practice, this newly established coaching staff agreed to coach the 15U Softball Nationals and the 15U Softball Athletics. This decision blessed the 15U Softball league all around as forming another team, as opposed to managing one large one, would allow for more games and more playing time for current players.
With many years of playing experience under their belts and a deep, personal connection, this fabulous five had already equipped themselves with the skills and the knowledge necessary to help lead both RBI Softball teams this summer.
We asked Celine what the response from parents has been, and here is what she had to say:
“The parents are truly grateful that we came out to volunteer…They’re also glad to see the experience we bring as we coach their daughters.”
This is great news, as each of these young women is able to share the importance of developing not only as an athlete and a teammate, but also as a friend. Our hope is that the example that they set on the ballfield this summer will inspire more young girls to aid in the transformation of their communities by becoming volunteer coaches in the years to come.
We wish these coaches and their players all the best this season, and we trust that their future together is bright.