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Baseball Canada to host Mizuno Camp

OTTAWA - Major League Baseball, Mizuno Canada, the Toronto Blue Jays and Baseball Canada will host some of the top 15-16 year old baseball players in the country for the 2011 edition of the Mizuno Elite Development Camp at Rogers Center from September 8th to 10th.

“The comprehensive nature of the Mizuno Elite Development Camp will allow these talented young Canadian players the opportunity to refine their skills while preparing them for competition at the next level,” says Greg Hamilton, Head Coach and Director of National Teams for Baseball Canada.

It will be a busy schedule for players as they will attend morning workouts on-field at Rogers Centre before heading to the classroom in the afternoon to partake in life skill’s seminars. The on-field workouts will consist of baseball drills and instruction with an emphasis on pitching, fielding, hitting and base running. The life skill’s seminars will feature: a presentation from Blue Jays Amateur Scouting Director Andrew Tinnish and Director of Canadian Scouting Jamie Lehman about the Blue Jays Scouting Department, the MLB Draft and the Blue Jays minor league system; a presentation from Greg Hamilton regarding the National Teams program and the college recruiting process; former National Team players and Olympians, Adam Stern and TJ Burton will provide participants an idea of what the Minor and Major League Baseball environment is like and give their career path stories, while representatives from Mizuno Canada will be on hand to show players some of the company's top quality products.

“Mizuno is pleased to be a part of this once in a lifetime opportunity to help these young athletes realize their dreams of playing in the Major Leagues,” said John Stacey, President of Mizuno Canada. “Our relationship with Baseball Canada continues to flourish and Mizuno will continue to help support the development of Baseball in Canada through grassroots programs.”

Players will also have the opportunity to attend three Toronto Blue Jays games while at the camp. The camp will culminate on September 10th (after the Blue Jays game) when players will be divided into Canada East and Canada West squads that will compete in an intra-squad game at Rogers Centre.

"We are pleased to host some of the finest Canadian talent here at Rogers Centre," said Blue Jays President and CEO, Paul Beeston. "These kids need to look no further than Brett Lawrie to see what hard work, talent and determination can do for a young man."

The Mizuno Camp features an impressive list of alumni as big-leaguers Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) and Russell Martin (Montréal, QC) along with former 1st round picks Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC), Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, QC) and Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC) have all attended in the past.

“Major League Baseball International is pleased to once again be a part of the Mizuno Elite Development Camp,” said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations with Major League Baseball. “As the number of talented young Canadian ballplayers continues to rise each year, we look forward to working with Baseball Canada to prepare them for the next level.”

Instructors include: from the Toronto Blue Jays, Third Base Coach Brian Butterfield (lead instructor), Bench Coach Don Wakamatsu, Pitching Coach Bruce Walton, Coach Luis Rivera and former Blue Jay and World Series Champion Duane Ward. Former MLB pitcher and Junior National Team Pitching Coach Paul Quantrill will be joined by former National Team players Adam Stern and T.J. Burton. Junior National Team Head Coach Greg Hamilton will also provide instruction along with Toronto Blue Jays Director of Canadian Scouting Jamie Lehman.

Additional instructors will be represented by coaches from each province that will be assisting with on-field drills and also partaking in classroom sessions in the afternoon. These coaches will be completing the ten modules required in Baseball Canada’s NCCP Competitive Development stream.

Dave Robb, a former National Team coach, will be joined by Baseball Canada’s Manager of Baseball Operations, André Lachance as facilitators for the classroom sessions.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for these coaches to gain coaching knowledge and put it to use at the Mizuno Camp,” said Lachance.