Alligood, Swain put on softball clinic

Published 4:30 pm Saturday, March 12, 2016

MICHAEL PRUNKA | DAILY NEWS TEACHING EXPERIENCE: Kendall Alligood gives directions to her group. The girls worked on everything from fielding to batting to conditioning.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE: Kendall Alligood gives directions to her group. The girls worked on everything from fielding to batting to conditioning.

PINETOWN — Like the rest of their classmates, Northside softball standouts Kendall Alligood and Mackensi Swain have a senior project standing between them and graduation.

What better way to make an impact than to put one’s best talents to use?

That’s exactly what did on Saturday. Their project revolves around obesity, so they put on a softball clinic Saturday that attracted over 50 local children. They taught the kids the fundamentals of the sport. They also incorporated the obesity aspect by showing them stretches, having them run bases and working on conditioning.

Alligood spent the clinic, which ran from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., working with third through fifth-graders. Swain was working with sixth through eighth-grades.

“I had my group. We did infield first,” Alligood said. “We’ve been stretching, throwing, outfield, infield. We did individual (position skills), so we’ve been working at every position.”

It wasn’t all work for the children in attendance. They got to cheer on their favorite Lady Panthers as the girls on the team competed against one another in a home run derby.

Having their teammates there supporting them and helping out with the project was important to Alligood and Swain.

The idea came about a few months back when Alligood was talking to her mother.

“It started a couple of months ago. Me and my mom were talking about it,” she said. “She was helping me plan it because she knew I had to do a senior project. When everything happened with her, I just knew I had to do it for her. My teacher brought it up, so we started it. I asked Mackensi to help me with it because I knew I couldn’t handle it by myself and we could do well together.”

Some of the first steps included picking a date, location and asking people for help. In addition to their teammates, Northside coach Riley Youmans was on hand, as were numerous parents and others.

They then made up registration forms and started emailing parents.

“There was a lot of planning and stressing this past week, especially with three games,” Alligood said. “Everybody has been very helpful. Our coach has been very helpful, our teammates have been very helpful and our families have been very helpful. We just had a good outreach from the community.”

Swain added, “It’s been a lot of stress, just trying to plan and get everything out. It takes a lot of organization because we have to post stuff out and constantly check our emails and messages. We have to make sure we had all the information we need for the girls and that they know what they need to be doing.”

MARCHING ORDERS: Mackensi Swain stands in the field, giving directions to her group of kids as they work on their fielding skills.

Swain and Alligood both found the clinic rewarding.

“They’re actually very, I guess, thankful that they get to come out here and learn. A lot of them say they’ve learned a lot,” Swain said. “They’re having a great time. That’s my main thing. I just wanted everyone to have a good time and learn something. … I love working with little kids and I get to share what I love.”

Alligood, who also volunteers at Bath Elementary, enjoyed the experience.

“That’s why I picked the younger group. I just love little kids,” Alligood said. “They’ve taught me a lot. When we were in the outfield, I have one kid say, ‘Miss Kendall, it’s all about being a team and working together.’ … I think they’re learning more than softball. I’m excited.”