Why are you supporting Little League In Richmond?
The answer to that one started out pretty simple. After running the “Just Play Ball” program out of King George Park on Richmond’s East side for a couple years, a number of the kids wanted to try their hand at organized baseball. Problem for some of the families, as for many others playing organized sports, was trying to find time to travel to other locations, arranging rides, etc. In talking to South Van Little League, who’s park is 6.2 kms away, they were prepared to 1) Register all the kids for us and 2) Come into Richmond for all of the games to be played. 3) Arrange the entire schedule along with umpires…4) Include the kids in all their ceremonies, etc.
That pretty well made it a “no-brainer” in trying to get the game back on track in East Richmond as was the “goal” at the outset of taking the “Just Play Ball” program into there.
But then after spending my entire coaching career in “B.C. Minor Baseball”, I realized there were plenty of other reasons for kids to play Little League at this point over BC Minor Baseball… Especially in Richmond. That I’ve answered below as a different question.
Why the push for artificial turf infield and who would pay for this?
This one has been on Richmond’s “Facility Needs List” for over a decade….With most Cities in the Pacific Northwest now going this route, it should be an “automatic” for getting support. Especially since the City has seen just how sought after Latrace Field is not only by local groups, but those from outlying areas.
Having this available, not only for early season training, but for trying to get in the many, many games that get rained out in April, May on regular grass fields, is something I truly believe should be added to the City’s inventory of parks.
So much so, that we a) Put together an “Artificial Turf Diamond Committee” last summer and b) I’ve committed $100,000 of available funding from Richmond Baseball to help make this happen should they be willing to get on board with this…. Have indicated to the City more than once that I’d like to “sit down and see just what it would take to bring this to fruition”, - as per the Timeline I recently created in 2022 - we hadn't had much luck in moving this forward. However, in 2021 early 2022, and joint collaboration with RCBA presented itself in a way that has given us hope to get something done "within our lifetime"!!..:o)
You really think you can get the top end Richmond players to buy into Little League in order to achieve your goal of having Richmond represent at LL Provincials, Canadians and the LL WORLD SERIES”?
As of 2022, our goal is to work WITH any and all baseball programs being offered in the Province that gives as maybe ballplayers as possible an opportunity to participate in the sport regardless of their skill level. If we do this at any early enough stage - and the registration numbers allow it and the player development is successful in every regard - we think there's an opportunity there to engage the baseball community at large to consider making the possibility available.
I don't want to say much more than that at this time as there's much work to be done in that regard, and quite frankly, a lot of it has to do with the Strategic Plan being put forth by Baseball BC for the years ahead.
Stay tuned though!!