Social Skills is a monthly column featuring community groups where you can meet new people through exercise or other enjoyable activities.
Stepping into the ‘Bluesox Academy’ is like entering a different world. Outside: sweltering Shenzhen heat, tall office buildings and construction workers ripping up the sidewalk. Inside: baseball. Everywhere.
Globes painted to look like baseballs shed light on a red diamond on the floor. A giant wooden carving of a bat protrudes from the reception desk. There are shelves stacked with equipment and three astroturfed practice spaces.
This is the headquarters of Shenzhen’s premier baseball group, the fittingly named Bluesox.
Outside the ‘academy,’ about 100 adults play regularly in the group, forming multiple teams that participate in outdoor, in-city tournaments.
Bluesox also has social events like dinners and group trips, with organizer Tim Cui calling it more of a lifestyle than pure sports group.
Cui, who started playing baseball in the first grade in Shenzhen, lived in the US for eight years before returning to Asia and making baseball, and the brick-and-mortar academy, his full-time job.
Although Shenzhen’s baseball scene is small, Cui is determined to change that. Bluesox offers classes for adults and children (taught in English with Chinese translation).“We just need to show them the sport and they love it,” he says of newcomers.
Monthly membership for adults, including access to weekly events, costs RMB300-500. For more information, visit www.blsxsport.com or add them on WeChat: bluesoxsports.
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