News 3 Neighbors: Glenwood coach leads team in Panama mission - WRBL

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News 3 Neighbors: Glenwood coach leads team in Panama mission

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Coach Fanning Coach Fanning
PHENIX CITY, Ala. -

Glenwood head baseball coach Tim Fanning has been working with a team in Panama 

twice over the last year.

Through the 'More Than a Game' foundation, they are spreading the joy of baseball to kids around the globe.

We join Coach Fanning as he re-lives their time in Panama.

Every so often, Tim Fanning looks at the footage from his two mission trips to Panama with other coaches and players from Glenwood.

"We've got the old man out there playing. Yeah, that is the old man out there. It's pretty good though. It was fun," said Fanning.

"We went down there for 10 days. Our goal was to build a field for the kids of Bongo, Panama," said Fanning.

The second trip was in July. The first trip to Panama was late last year.

"Late in the fall, we were able to go down on our first mission trip and provide all the kids with uniforms, equipment, gloves, bats, balls," said Fanning.

And to build a field this time, they had to put in many hours of sweat and work.

"We had to dig down. We had to move about four feet deep to level the field," said Fanning.

And they got creative with their resources when constructing the field.

"We cut bamboo for the poles for the backstop. As we did that, we started thinking, why can't we do foul poles? We did that. Then one of the guys was like, why can't be build them a flag pole? We just went pole crazy," said Fanning.

They quickly found out that the terrain is different from East Alabama.

"It is basically a jungle. That is what it is. We built a field in the jungle," said Fanning.

Through the More Than A Game foundation, Fanning helps spread baseball to kids around the country and world.

"Someone once asked me why I do this: It is because someone did this for me. When I was that age, I had to have help to play organized sports. That was provided for me. People reached out and helped me. I will never stop doing that," said Fanning.

Fanning says his fellow teachers and administrators have been very supportive at Glenwood. And he says they have been fortunate to secure sponsorships and donations from many different companies so they can build the field. 

It is all to inspire kids. 

"That one little village is not it. Make them dream higher or bigger, or maybe farther. Maybe they will want to do something else with their lives," said Fanning.

Coach Fanning says sharing the story of the work in Panama has been great for the students at Glenwood.

They have plans to go back and they hope to start a baseball league. 

 

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Dayne Young

Dayne is a sports anchor and reporter for WRBL. He started covering the Chattahoochee Valley in September 2012. More>>

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