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Upward Sports and First Baptist Church, Mandeville, LA, Partner to Launch Upward Baseball League Supported by Gatorade Player of the Year and Upward Sports HeadStart Grant
Upward Sports
Jan. 5, 2024

MANDEVILLE, La., Jan. 5, 2024 /Christian Newswire/ -- Upward Sports is thrilled to announce the launch of a brand-new Upward Baseball League at First Baptist Church in Mandeville, LA. This exciting initiative has been made possible through the collaborative efforts of Upward Sports, First Baptist Church, and the vital support from both the Gatorade Player of the Year and Upward Sports HeadStart Grants.

Emma Bourg, the recipient of the Gatorade Player of the Year Grant, generously gifted this grant to Upward Sports. Learning of this, Upward Sports matched the Gatorade grant. This opportunity created a HeadStart Grant for a church to start an Upward Sports league in Emma's home state.

Emma, named the 2023 Louisiana Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, is a testament to athletic excellence, winning back-to-back individual state championships during her final two seasons at Houma Christian School. Together with the Upward Sports HeadStart Grant, dedicated to fostering youth sports initiatives, these grants have been instrumental in bringing this intentional baseball league to life.

"We are excited to partner with First Baptist Church and express our heartfelt gratitude to Gatorade and the Gatorade Player of the Year, Emma Bourg," stated Upward Sports Director of Marketing, Travis Vaughn. "This league perfectly aligns with our mission to positively impact young athletes, fostering not only sports skills but also character development and spiritual growth."

The Upward Baseball League, a ministry of First Baptist Church, welcomes children of all skill levels into an intentional and fun environment. These grants have not only made the league possible but also addressed the community's needs, ensuring a next-level experience for families in Mandeville.

Registration for the Upward Baseball League is now open at https://registration.upward.org/UPW85617.

The season is scheduled to start with evaluations beginning, March 2, 2024 with a complete schedule of games and practices hosted at the First Baptist Church field.

For additional information about the launch of this Upward Baseball League at First Baptist Church, please contact Jennifer McCraw at Upward Sports (jmccraw@upward.org).

About Upward Sports:
Upward Sports, the world's largest Christian youth sports organization, provides young athletes with positive and transformative experiences through sports in local churches across the United States. Focused on skill development, character building, and spiritual growth, Upward Sports is committed to making a lasting impact in communities worldwide. Learn more at,

About First Baptist Church:
First Baptist Church, located in Mandeville, LA, is a community-oriented church committed to spiritual growth, community engagement, and the overall well-being of individuals and families.

About Gatorade Player of the Year Grant:
Established in 1985, the Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes the nation's most elite high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement, and exemplary character. Learn more at

SOURCE Upward Sports

CONTACT: Jennifer McCraw, jmccraw@upward.org