Do you like softball? Do you think we should have more diamonds?
If you’ve never been to a recreational Peachland Softball Game at Cousin’s Park, then I highly recommend you head down one day and check it out! Softball is a lot of fun, and even if you never take the field with a local team, watching the games is very social and a great way to enjoy a sunny day. “Softball makes cold beer better”! Wait, I’m gonna trademark that one… (Trademark PeteCoolio 2018).
A little background: Softball attracts a wide variety of people of all ages and is well-supported with local teams. It’s been growing in popularity in Peachland, thanks in part to a beautiful renovation of Cousin’s Park. Recent events have also boasted a beer garden and the attendance seems to be getting bigger with every swing of the bat. Tournaments are a big draw across BC and can attract dozens of teams and thousands of people. These teams are sponsored or organized by local businesses. The “Bats for a Cause” campaign raises hundreds of thousands for BC Children’s Hospital and hosts events, dinners and prize-auctions at local businesses. The majority of softball leagues are “recreational”, which many also refer to as “the beer league”, (softball goes well with beer). There are also Orthodox Leagues out there for players who take the game more seriously. Most tournaments will feature one Orthodox League of a dozen teams and many beer-leagues split-off into winners and losers as the tourney progresses… by far the bulk of the tournament.
Okay, so there’s your background. Now that Turner Park is out of our hands, Peachland is considering new places to put new ball diamonds. The problem is that we don’t seem have the space for “regulation” diamonds, which might be what is needed to accommodate major tournaments with leagues involving “very serious” players, (I’m not the expert on this). In short, the diamonds could fail to attract any attention from tournament organizers. In the planning realm, we refer to this as “economic uplift”. In the social realm, we might refer to it as fun, happiness, recreation, fund-raising, etc.
QUESTION: how much do you think any of this matters?
We have a few options for placement of the fields, (although they’ll have to be smaller than regulation-sized). Cousin’s Field is NOT regulation-sized… the outfield would have to extend into the middle of Beach Avenue to meet that requirement. We get a few dingers knocked out of the park onto Beach Avenue every summer, but there are simple solutions which some fine folks at the District are looking into right now.
We “might” be able to fit one regulation-sized diamond somewhere. Do you think it’s important?