This Year in Baseball is a regular feature on Baseball.ca that will preview the year ahead in baseball from the 10 Provincial organizations. As we move across the nation from West to East, we take an in-depth look at Baseball Nova Scotia.
Girl’s baseball is extremely popular in Nova Scotia and last season Baseball Nova Scotia invited former Blue Jay and Canadian National Team player, Rob Ducey to be an instructor at Nova Scotia’s Girls Day in Baseball Clinic.
Well, the bar has been set high, and this year former Jay Duane Ward will be attending the clinic on July 17th in Bedford.
“Duane has agreed to come here a couple of days before the Blue Jays Honda Super Camp (set for July 18th - 20th in Halifax) to help out with Girls Day in Baseball,” said Baseball Nova Scotia, Executive Director Brad Lawlor. “Girls Day in Baseball is an event that we continue to get more exposure around and this year we are hoping to reach 200 girls.
The event has become so important and diverse that it is even used as a recruitment tool for the Provincial Bantam Girls program.
“There was one girl that we found at Girls Day in Baseball last year who is now a key member of the Bantam Provincial team,” explained Lawlor. “She is not from an area of the province that we would normally see, so she would not have had an opportunity to play for the Bantam team had she not gone to Girl’s Day in Baseball.”
Girl’s Day in Baseball has proven to work in terms of getting girls interested in baseball, getting girls actually involved in playing the game and has now even proven to get girl’s involved with the provincial program.
Girl’s Day in Baseball is not the only event meant to attract females to the sport. In early May, Baseball Canada’s Girl’s Committee Chair, Holly Lapierre attended the ‘Miramichi Go Girl Festival’, a project that encourages inactive girls to pursue sport/physical activities and an active lifestyle.
Lapierre said that the day was a great success, where girls are invited to “see and try” a variety of sport and physical activity pursuits, including baseball.
Where grassroots development is concerned, Baseball Nova Scotia is promoting the Winterball and Rally Cap programs to as many areas and associations as possible and is receiving positive results.
“We use Winterball as a tool to generate membership in areas of the province that it’s lacking,” said Lawlor. “The word has gotten out about the program to the point where I have gym teachers and principal’s calling me inquiring about the program.”
A great example of the success the program has had is Enfield, a remote location in the province that started out with only one team, and after receiving a Winterball kit increased its membership to five teams.
Rally Cap has also increased its awareness to the point where parents are inquiring about the program with their local association prior to registering their child.
“The program is definitely becoming well known,” continued Lawlor. “Parents are actually pressuring associations that aren’t using it, to implement the program because they’ve heard such good things about it.”
In the High Performance area, Nova Scotia will be sending a competitive team to the Bantam Girls Championship where Lawlor is part of the coaching staff.
“We have players from all over the province and we are expecting to medal with this team,” he said.
The Selects club that will be heading to Moncton and the Baseball Canada Cup is well into their preparations and are looking to make some noise in Pool B. The club is lead by Head Coach Jim Mosher who has been working tirelessly with his staff to prepare his club.
The Dartmouth Moosehead Dry Senior team has high expectations for the Senior Men’s Championship in Miramichi, NB – after they captured the Silver Medal when they hosted the event a year ago.
To find out more about Baseball Nova Scotia, please visit: www.baseballnovascotia.com