Before any player gets a chance to swing the bat

Volunteers: For the love of baseball

With over 130 kids playing during the summer baseball season Nelson has a strong following.

Second of three parts

As the kids don their hats and baseball gloves to begin their pre-game warm ups there is a flurry of activity occurring on the in field as a handful of parents run around with rakes and brooms in hand smoothing gravel and sweeping dugouts.

“It takes a lot of effort or a little effort from a lot of people.  With baseball it’s getting equipment organized and ordered and making sure teams have enough. As well as field maintenance, in baseball you have to go out there and rake, draw lines, and sweep dugouts,” said Larry Martel, President of the Nelson Little League Baseball Association.

The volunteers of the local association take on many different roles.  Some choose to coach a team putting in seven or eight hours a week for a couple of practices and games; while others take up a rake on the maintenance crew to ready the ball diamonds for games and practices.

“I have three young children, and I have a passion for baseball so it made sense to pass on that passion and knowledge,” said Andrew Ens, head coach of the Nelson Tigers.

Ens has been coaching in the Nelson association for the past six years and has found the support and assistance from parents to be instrumental in a team’s success.

“It was huge this year. I had all the parents help I could ask for.  It made a huge impact having that much help; we have a really fun team and a great group of parents,” said Ens.

With over 130 kids playing during the summer baseball season Nelson has a strong following.

Parents come to almost every single game to cheer on their children and support the team.

One of the most important jobs a parent has is just getting the kids to the diamond on time said Martel.

Within each team there is a crew of five or six parent volunteers who are responsible for getting emails out to player’s families with game and practice schedules.

As in any sport, the kids taking to the field notice when a parent volunteers their time raking or coaching.

“Seeing their parents are that involved makes it natural.  Those kids will be the coaches and field maintenance crews in the future. The parents don’t know what kind of impression that has on the kids — it gives them confidence seeing their mom or dad out there,” said Martel on the impact of volunteering.

Volunteers in any sport don’t give their time for the recognition.

They do it because they want to make a difference and show kids that even though they may not be able to play they can still be there week in and week out.

“I truly believe in setting a good example and being a role model.  I’d like to pass those on to the next generation and with that comes respect for the sport and for the people who make it happen,” said Ens.

During the summer evenings at any of the ballparks around Nelson the crack of he baseball bats and the cheers of the players and parents can be heard as the family that is the Nelson Little League Baseball Association comes together to watch some quality baseball.

“The game now is more than a game it’s a culture it’s something we do as a family and we can talk about.  We all have a different connection with the game,” said Martel.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Researchers find cannabis use in pregnancy linked to greater risk of autism

Researchers caution findings only show association — not cause and effect

Small Manitoba town mourning after well-liked teens killed by tornado

Melita residents feeling profound grief after the deaths of Shayna Barnesky and Carter Tilbury

Antonio Banderas says he’s tested positive for coronavirus

Acclaimed actor celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine

Bear put down after being found on Vancouver Island kitchen counter

Bear trapped and killed near Ucluelet after repeated instances of entering sheds and homes

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Second phase of NHL draft lottery set for Monday

Each club eliminated from qualifying round has a 12.5 per cent shot at the No. 1 pick

University of Victoria, rowing coach sued over alleged ‘fat shaming’ and verbal abuse

Lawsuit says Barney Williams subjected coxswain Lily Copeland to offensive and belittling language

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

Most Read