FOR WEB

LETTER: Council votes to restrict baseball in Nelson

From reader Simon Liddell

I recently received a letter from Kevin Cormack the city manager justifying why minor baseball and T-ball had to be moved from Lions park. Apparently the city has decided to restrict the number of hours that baseball is allowed to use the park based on a 100 hour limit that was agreed on in 2011.

This was six years ago when the number of kids playing baseball in Nelson was at an all time low. The low numbers were primarily based on a lack of baseball parks in Nelson and, of course video games have decreased the number of kids in all sports.

Nelson baseball has spent the last few years restoring the baseball diamond and building a storage shed at Lions Park to accommodate T-ball and minor baseball at the park. Baseball numbers are finally going up and Lions park is a big part of that.

All the gear is there and it has been a great place for little kids to learn how to play baseball. The park is large enough to accommodate many different users, oftentimes the baseball teams are the only kids there. Minor baseball and T-ball only take up a small area and there is a temporary fence put up for games. The ball has not left the playing area once this season.

Some major teams (kids over 10) played there last year but Nelson baseball has agreed it was a bad idea and there have not been any major baseball games nor practices at Lions Park this year.

Still, the T-ball and minor teams are well over the arbitrary 100-hour limit, which should be a celebration.

Instead the city has decided to make it difficult for baseball to continue at the park this year and stated they will strongly enforce the limit for next year.

Nelson has very few baseball diamonds compared to Castlegar and Trail. If kids want to play a sport here in Nelson then there should be room made to accommodate that, especially now that the city is charging groups to use the parks.

The baseball season is three months long and there are even groups of little kids and their families starting to play on their own. I just don’t understand some of the decisions made by this council.

Simon Liddell

Nelson