Support4Sport

Support4Sport program has helped fuel the desires, broaden the dreams and encourage the visions of athletes across the Province.

Ken Bagnell, President
Candian Sport Centre Atlantic

Brad Lawlor

Brad
Lawlor
Take her out to the ball game…
Community Program

Nova Scotia is home to some of the youngest and most enthusiastic baseball players in the country. Each year, leagues throughout the province are dedicated to promoting their athletes at a national level, and this year many of Nova Scotia’s most promising prospects are females.

As a province, Nova Scotia is setting the standard when it comes to women’s baseball. Women from ages three to 30 are grabbing their bats, oiling up their gloves and heading out to baseball fields across the province.

Brad Lawlor, the executive director for Baseball Nova Scotia, largely attributes the sport’s popularity to recent increases in financial support.

“Funding has allowed us to really market the game at a grassroots level and get more girls engaged,” he says explaining that through programs such as Support4Sport, Baseball Nova Scotia has been able to promote their sporting events and increase attendance. “It’s allowed us to reach the entire province,” says Brad.

And it appears as though it’s the ladies in the province who are really listening. Over the past three years there’s been a 45 per cent increase in girls' baseball.

“It’s actually a pretty drastic increase,” Brad explains.

Due to the sport’s growing demand, and with finanical assistance from Support4Sport, Baseball Nova Scotia created an annual all-day skills camp for girls, the first of its kind in Canada.

“Now we have a day to recognize and celebrate girls' baseball, whereas before we didn’t have the funding,” Brad says.

This year marks the fourth annual Girls Day in Baseball celebration. In its first year, the event attracted 90 girls, but this year Brad hopes to introduce more than 200 to the joys of baseball. Toronto Blue Jay Duane Ward was in attendance this past year.

So far, the Girls Day in Baseball training camps have been a great success.

“I get letters from parents saying that their girls were inspired during the camp and that they want to play next year, or they are inspired by the provincial athletes and really want to work on their game to get to the provincial level.”

Although Nova Scotia was the first province to organize an event like Girls Day in Baseball, similar programs have started popping up across the country.

“The sport is really starting to gain momentum in other parts of Canada as well,” says Brad. “The increase in participation is inspiring.”

Brad identifies an all girls league in Hammonds Plains as a prime example. Through the commitment of baseball fanatics like Holly Lapierre, the game’s popularity has exploded in that community. While in 2006 there were only 20 female players, there are now more than 160.

Baseball Nova Scotia is also offering more programs at a grassroots level than many provinces. The demand for more female-focused programs has allowed them to offer female umpire clinics and all girls coaching clinics.

As these rural teams continue to develop, more and more talented girls are coming up to bat.

“Our girls are getting exposure at the national level,” Brad says.

Nova Scotia is currently the only province in Atlantic Canada that has consistently sent girls to national bantam tournaments. The province’s own Janice Campbell, Sarah Burgess and Meaghan Bremner have played on the National Woman’s Baseball Team. In 2011 the Nova Scotia Bantam Girls team captured a bronze medal at the Baseball Canada National Championships, the first ever Baseball Canada female medal in Atlantic Canadian history.

“Our goal is to make sure that everyone can take part in our baseball programs and the first step is making them aware,” says Brad. “The Support4Sport funding has really allowed us to maximize the exposure of the sport."

Location

Hammonds Plains, NS
Canada
44° 43' 45.4368" N, 63° 44' 22.5096" W

Location

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