After 40 years of having two baseball associations on the Coast, the Gibsons Minor Baseball Association and the Sechelt Central Base-ball League have signed an agreement to join forces.
This week the official letter of intent was signed creating the new Sunshine Coast Baseball Association (SCBA).
President Ward Ellis-Winters said both groups are thrilled with the new partnership.
“The thrilling part is when we started talking about this idea of coming together everyone was of like mind and really just wanted to get down to work and find a way to make baseball more exciting on the Coast,” he said. “It just makes perfect sense to have one baseball league for the Coast. It allows us to better pool our volunteer resources and, overall, will make for a better experience for the youth.”
The two boards have held weekly joint meetings for the past five weeks planning the structure and electing a new board of directors, which is made up of members from both associations.
Ellis-Winters credits Garth Kitson (CBL president) and all board members with having a common vision and commitment to make this happen.
BC Minor Baseball and Baseball BC have shown great support thus far for the change. In this, the transition year, the two associations will still legally be two separate entities until a joint annual general meeting is held in the fall to ratify the agreement. However, in all aspects of the day-to-day operations, a new board will manage the league.
“This idea of creating one association has been discussed for years now by different boards, but it never happened. This time it did and it's going to be a great thing moving forward,” said Ellis-Winters. “It allows us to balance the teams, which is key, especially at the younger ages so they can be more competitive and we can balance the teams much better that go off-Coast to play in the interlocking league in the Lower Mainland.
“We have to also build at the younger ages and develop a more exciting program and an introduction to baseball. Baseball is a great sport and kids have an opportunity to have a great time.”
The board of directors includes: president, Ward Ellis-Winters; vice president Sechelt area, Jane Troup; vice president Gibsons area, Alayna Josephson; secretary, Sally Walters; treasurer, Tracey Thompson; registrar, Nancy Ellis-Winters; director of player development, Garth Kitson; umpire in chief, Dave Lasser; manager ways and means, vacant; manager public relations, vacant; equipment manager, Dan Flatt; uniform manager, Francis McKenna; member at-large, Bob Mercer; division manager T-Ball/Rally Cap, vacant; division manger Tadpole, vacant; division manager Mosquito, Amy Greenberg; division manager Peewee, vacant; division manager Bantam/Midget, vacant.