Even though it is the dead of winter, it is never too early to talk baseball or summer.
Especially after Steve Kent’s announcement of some $167,000 for a new lighting system at the ball field in Upper Island Cove.
This announcement by the Minister of Municipal Affairs has organizations in the community, and around the region, salivating at the thought of putting off activities into the evening hours.
“By improving recreation services in your community and in your region, we hope to ensure longer livelihoods and better health for everybody.,” said Port de Grave MHA Glenn Littlejohn at the announcement on Jan. 20. “Where better to start than on a recreation facility.”
Officials expect the lights to be installed and ready to go this year.
Scott Adams is an executive member with Baseball CBN, one of the groups who are sure to take advantage of the lights when they are operational later this year.
“Having even one field that offers lighting is a big step forward for our regional program,” said Adams.
Baseball CBN is a regional program that operates out of three fields — Harbour Grace, Spaniard’s Bay and Upper Island Cove — in Conception Bay North.
Baseball is a game designed to be played under the lights. There is an inherent magic that occurs when the game is played at night.
While some of the older players in the program have played evening games before, the younger players will now have the opportunity.
“Rest assured we'll have a lot of smiling faces when that first night game gets played in 2014,” said Adams.
Having the lights on the field offer more than just night games to players. It also offers up the chance at increased player development by opening up more practice slots.
“A field lighting system in Upper Island Cove will provide the kids with an added opportunity to further develop their skill set,” said Adams.
But, it is not only the players who will benefit from the extra practice time. When everything is up and running, there will an increase in the flexibility of practice times.
During the baseball season, in order to beat the sun, so to speak, the association ran practices earlier in the afternoons.
This made it difficult for parents and coaches to get to practice due to other commitments.
The new system will allow the association to better accommodate these parents and coaches.
Not only baseball
It is not only the baseball program that will benefit from having the new lighting system.
Community groups will also be afforded an increased landscape to run their activities on.
Groups like the Parks and Recreation Association will benefit greatly from having the extra time to plan their events.