66-year-old ball park gets revitalized through community initiatives

Art Morris Park has been revamped to host U19 C Provincial

The Sooke Minor Fastball Association has been hard at work to revamp Art Morris Park for the girls’ U19C Provincial Championship from July 6-8.

According to Sandra Nelson, Sooke Minor Fastball Association president, the Provincial serves as an opportunity to promote the local fastball scene and the region itself.

“We want them — when they leave here — to say ‘Wow, Sooke put on a great Provincial,’” she said.

“ We’re a small community, and the only way that word gets out about us is through people visiting us.”

Nelson said there will be 16 teams from around the province participating, including one of the Sooke U19 C teams, which received a hosting buy-in.

It is expected about 500 people from out-of-town will be in the area during the Provincial.

In an effort to promote the region, the Sooke Minor Fastball Association has supplied each coach and player with a program highlighting the region’s amenities. The program will talk about our community and sites to see in our community, she said.

In order to provide the visitors with a memorable experience, Art Morris Park, which was founded in 1946, is receiving a make-over.

The association was the recipient of the Island Equipment Owners Association community project grant, which saw the ball park get a fresh, new look on June 23.

The IEOA brought in bobcats, stone slingers, and two single gravel trucks to put in a new road base, and grade the roads and parking lot surrounding the ball field.

The organization also donated sand, which allowed for a new layer on each of infields of the ball diamonds. Total cost of the work amounted to a value of $6,000.

In addition, the fastball association will be power washing and repainting the bleachers, and fixing the fencing that skirts around the park.

The Sooke Rotary Club supplied $2,000 for fencing repairs.

“It’s ongoing, but we’re told it’ll all be done before provincials,” Nelson said.