Grab your gear guys and gals, Sooke fastball will now be taking applicants for the new play season, which starts up at the end of April and lasts through until June.
Two basic components will fit this year’s program: Learn To Play for kids aged 5-8, a developmental course focused on the basic skills and fundamentals of the game, and Minor League Play for ages 9-18 which is recognized in all Softball BC parks on Southern Vancouver Island.
What is fastball, some may wonder? Well, it’s softball – same thing, just a different way of calling it.
Certainly doesn’t change the essence of the sport either, chuckles Dr. Chris Bryant, president, of the Sooke Minor Fastball Association.
“There’s nothing soft about softball… it is a high-speed, action-packed type of game. Fastball just fits a lot better,” he said, adding that fastball is, at heart, a skill-sharpening sport.
“It teaches kids about motion, coordination and fitness skills. More importantly, it’s fun,” Bryant said, adding that the 9-18 age group are more structured in the league play and minor league tourneys. “Younger kids practice more than they play, older kids play more than they practice.”
Though registration will be at the SEAPARC, all the action will take place at the Art Morris Park, located just at the corner of Throup Rd. and Charters Rd right here in Sooke. To Bryant, the volunteer-run park is not only sacred, but it serves as the starting point for many kids and young adults looking to get into the sport.
“It’s all about giving the kids and their parents a place to develop,” he said. “That park we run ourselves from the bottom up; it’s unlike any other park on the island.”
Bryant, who coached fastball teams for many years, will be acting solely as president of the association this year.
Fastball has its own footer in Sooke’s history. For one, the sport has existed in and around Sooke for nearly 60 years, and has its own successful fastball teams: the Sooke Loggers and Sooke Smoke.
The district of Sooke will also play host to the upcoming 2015 Boys Fastball Provincial Championships on July 10-12, 2015.
“That’s a testament to the boys fastball we’ve had in the park,” Bryant said. “The success of many of our programs are based upon the learning networks Softball Canada has developed.”
And continue developing solid fastball players.
Local star fastball player Brian Banner has been shortlisted for the men’s National Fastball team; and Noreen Labecky, who had been playing fastball in the park from an early age, managed to turn her experience into a college scholarship down in Florida.
“It all starts at Learn To Play developmental age ball… while I don’t want to belittle the efforts of coaches and parents who help our teams ascend to a winning season, it is all about having fun and good socialization combined with willingness to learn,” Bryant said.
Parents of kids 5-18 years of age wanting to play and be part of Sooke Minor Fastball’s rich heritage can register their children for the upcoming ball season.
Kids 5-8…. in Learn To Play. Nationally recognized development of fitness and skills for boys, girls and parents.
Ages 9-18 in organized league play with all recognized Softball BC parks in Southern Vancouver Island
February 22, Sunday 1:30 pm – 3:30 p.m.
March 9 , Monday 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
March 25 , Wednesday 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
SEAPARC Recreational Centre lobby
Visit the club’s website at www.sookefastball.com to learn more about the organization. Download instructions/documents from the “FORMS” tab and bring them along with cheques to the above registration dates