The summer is quickly approaching and Baseball New Brunswick is getting ready for another season of exciting baseball in the province. For New Brunswick, the lead up starts in the schools.
“The Winterball program has been huge for us,” says Jason Dickson, Executive Director of Baseball NB.
“Getting the Physical Education teachers on board was key and now that they’re understanding the LTAD program (Long Term Athlete Development) which matches a lot of the ideals that they want to incorporate, the Winterball program fits into their class format and allows us to encourage kids to play baseball.”
In New Brunswick, there are more kids registering to play baseball in the southern part of the province compared to the north. A factor being that the three major metropolitan areas of the province, Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton, are in the south.
But along with Winterball, Baseball NB is planning a Baseball Caravan with the focus of hitting the northern communities and trying to increase the numbers.
“Our high performance coaches, coaches who deal with grass roots, our women’s baseball committee, officials committee and our coaching coordinators would all be involved and we would hit some major spots in the province,” explains Dickson.
“This is a big push for recruiting and whoever comes out to any of our presentations, we will have people handling any and all aspects that anyone would like to get involved with whether it is coaching, officiating or scorekeeping.”
The biggest efforts for recruitment in New Brunswick happens during the winter and spring months and like all the other provincial associations, Baseball NB is always on the lookout for more volunteers.
“We always stay active in communities as far as recruiting volunteers and seeing at what level they would like to be involved and creating a good environment for them,” says Dickson, “and we also make sure that our coaches are certified with the NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program).”
As Executive Director, Dickson coordinates most of the initiatives for Baseball NB, but he’s more than simply a coordinator. He himself tours the province and gives presentations and demonstrations, particularly for Winterball. As a former Major League Baseball player, he uses that status to help with the presentations.
“I like doing this because it gives you an opportunity to add some character to the program and talk to the kids about staying in school and other things.”
All those efforts lead into the summer where the coordination of registration, certification and organizing tournaments takes place, which is pretty much the status quo for Dickson.
“Going into the summer, it’s business as usual.”