By Justin Seward
Minor baseball was revived in Bow Island in April after many years of not having the sport in town.
Kim and Derek Van Ham were talking last spring with other hockey parents wanting to get their son into baseball.
The Van Hams became the organizers this spring.
“Some of the other parents were kind of interested too, but then COVID kind of came and everything shut down and then that was the end of that,” said Kim.
“And then this spring was rolling around, and I thought ‘Well, maybe we should try it this spring.’ But of course, there is still all the COVID regulations. So, I didn’t really know who would be interested or if there was actually any interest. I mean, I knew there was a handful people from my son’s hockey team.”
Kim then sent out a letter to the local schools that there is the possibility of baseball starting up again and gauging where the interest level is at.
She was only anticipating getting seven to 10 kids to make a small team, but that number was blown out of the water as 81 kids signed up.
“I just kept getting text after text or email like for weeks on end,” said Kim.
“I was like really? And I am like at 25, this has got to be it, but it just kept going. I think people started like, ‘Oh yeah, my kids are in that.’ Kids are talking about it at school too and even after we started, we kept getting more and more kids. I actually had to cap it at 81.”
The 81 kids made up nine teams that were split into three groups on the three diamonds in town.
“A lot of those kids do go play soccer with Taber I think and some of those kids decided to stay away from soccer this year and try baseball,” she said.
“I’ve had an overwhelming response from the parents about how much the kids are enjoying it. So, I’m hoping that I maybe can steal some of those soccer players and keep them here because I would really like to continue and try to start another season next year.”
She said if she could find a positive with the COVID situation, it would be that it would a great year to kind of trial baseball in the town again.
Teams were only able to practice skills this year and were comprised of players ages four to 13.
“Hopefully these next couple of weeks we’re going to try and play some games against other teams that you’re on your diamond with,” she said.
The development sessions conclude June 24.
The older teams are in talks with Foremost for an exhibition game.
Bow Island will join the Norcrest Little League with Foremost, Taber and Vauxhaul next season.
The plans are in the works right now to form a board and play games next season.
Interested players for future seasons can find more information on the Bow Island Minor Baseball Facebook page or contact Van Ham at (403) 866-6599.