This Year in Baseball will be a regular feature on Baseball.ca that will preview the year ahead in baseball from the 10 Provincial organizations. Today we take an in-depth look at Baseball BC.
OTTAWA- Twenty-ten was a year to remember for Baseball BC as the organization was awarded Province of the Year (along with Manitoba) and was a force on the National Championship scene, picking up four gold medals. Looking to continue on that path, Baseball BC Executive Director David Laing notes that those running programs in communities across the province are the keys to success.
“Our volunteers and coaches are doing a remarkable job. Obviously being able to play outside longer than any other Province is an advantage, but I always go back to the hard work of the coaches and volunteers which allow us to have success.”
Another important factor that helps sustain the growth of the game in BC is the tremendous success of native British Columbians in professional baseball. Players like Justin Morneau (New Westminster), Jason Bay (Trail) and Ryan Dempster (Gibsons) are thriving in Major League Baseball while Brett Lawrie (Langley) and Kellin Deglan (Langley) are players that hope to be in joining them in the big-league’s soon. Also, Tom Robson (Ladner) is likely to be the first Canadian selected in June’s MLB Draft.
“It really gives kids playing baseball in our province something to strive for,” explains Laing. “It’s exciting; it gives us visibility which helps keep the kids playing.”
On the grassroots side, the Rally Cap program is making some headway in the Province and is beginning to pick-up steam. Laing notes that once everyone gets on-board with the Rally Cap Program, it will do wonders for growth while keeping kids active and engaged in baseball.
“Every year we get more associations implementing Rally Cap. The new tools that we have, including DVD’s and the Rally Cap handbook are going to help bring more people on board.”
Girl’s baseball is trending extremely well in the Province which sees registrations numbers on the rise. Team BC also picked up the Gold Medal at last year’s Bantam Girls Championship, hosted in Richmond.
“We’re very excited about the increasing number of girls registering in baseball,” Laing continued. “The local associations have done a great job in making the sport accessible for girls.”
Finally, an event that the baseball community in BC can look forward to in 2011 is the Peewee Western championship that will be played in Nanaimo. The community is extremely excited to welcome some of top Peewee clubs in Western Canada and are looking forward hosting a fantastic event.
“The host committee is organized and starting to do some of the legwork for the championship,” added Laing. “I expect that this will be a championship that participants and parents will remember and that everyone involved from a BC standpoint will be proud of.”
From the hard work of those at Baseball BC to the dedication of volunteers and coaches who run successful programs, it makes for an exciting future in 2011 and beyond.
For more information on Baseball BC please visit their website: www.baseball.bc.ca