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Ripken Baseball Coach Spotlight: Nathan Agnew of the MENA All-Stars

By Ripken Baseball, 12/05/18, 4:15PM EST

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With roughly 275 players currently participating in Qatar Little League, Agnew is excited to watch the sport continue to grow throughout the region

Baseball is truly a global sport, and no one understands that better Nathan Agnew, coach of the MENA All-Stars. Originally from Texas, Agnew now lives in Qatar, where he coaches players from all over the Middle East and Northern Africa. Agnew began coaching 10 years ago while living in Canada. While watching his oldest son play baseball, Agnew decided he wanted to get more involved and began coaching.

“I always say the best thing a parent can do is get involved,” said Agnew, “I saw an opportunity to get involved and I took it and I’ve loved coaching ever since.”

After a family member’s job relocation, Agnew brought six years of coaching experience and his love for the game across the world with him to his current home in Qatar where Agnew noticed there was a lack of opportunity for young baseball players to enjoy the game.

Agnew wanted to fill that void and give the best players across the Middle East and Northern Africa a chance to play together and share their mutual love of baseball so he started the MENA All-Stars. Agnew saw the creation of this team as an exciting moment for the sport in the Middle East and garnered a great deal of support from parents and players who wanted to travel to the United States to play baseball. 

Before the creation of the MENA All-Stars, most little league teams from the Middle East had to travel to Hong Kong to compete in tournaments and gathering enough support from parents to travel to the United States was extremely challenging. But the MENA All-Stars parents have remained committed to supporting the team and traveling abroad to pursue more tournament opportunities.

“Baseball is not really prevalent in the Middle East,” said Agnew. “But the kids and families that are involved really love the sport, and it’s amazing to bring them to America each year to play against teams from the US.”

The MENA All-Stars travelled to United States and participated in the Experience Camp at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen Powered by Under Armour two years ago. More recently, they also competed in the Tidal Wave Week-Long Experience this past summer at The Ripken Experience Myrtle Beach.

“The overall experience was so great. Our team spent a ton of time together as we travelled and played in tournaments together.  The experience was really eye opening for our players and the trip brought our team closer together.” said Agnew,

With roughly 275 players currently participating in Qatar Little League, Agnew is excited to watch the sport continue to grow throughout the region, but for now he’s enjoying sharing his love of the game with his players.

“I just really love the sport. It’s the ultimate team building activity and an incredible way to build relationships through a mutual bond.”