Dear Mr. Editor
I must first apologize as since I had to work, I was unable to be part of the Town Hall Meeting at the Kinsmen Community Centre. Considering I am the President of the Ponoka Minor Ball Association and this meeting was concentrated on the new rec center project, please forgive my disgust with some of the suggestions. When Mayor Bonnett was our Softball Co-ordinator, I remember discussions about a rec centre for Ponoka to help or ball leagues to keep our kids local, however, in the article in the paper things like meeting halls, library, theatre, basketball, volleyball and lacrosse as well as soccer were mentioned but where was Minor Ball?
The only time ball was mentioned was with the idea that the two best diamonds our town has for our sport was suggested to be removed. It was stated that the diamonds were under-utilized. I can assure you, I can remember a few times our association requested that we use these diamonds for games, and we were told that either the adult league was using them, or it was “Stampede Time” and we were not allowed.
Our enrollment numbers have increased in the last year. Just for quick reference, our learn to play kids went from 9 kids in 2012 to 25 kids in 2013. Our Girls Mites teams went from 12 in 2012 to 17 in 2013, and we had to decline some late applications. Those are just a few. And we anticipate increase in numbers for 2014. So how is taking the two best diamonds out benefiting the sport of ball? This would leave our girls team with 1 diamond other than asking the schools or Legion or Moose Hall for use of theirs, but then we are having to ask parents to drive out of town for something that is already central.
I cannot completely speak on the behalf of other groups but I am aware that the St. Augustine school utilizes the complex diamonds, as well as the adult leagues. I’m sure that if we didn’t have to forfeit our time to the Stampede Parking, we would utilize them further.
I don’t feel taking things away in hopes that in 10-12 years we will have a rec centre, that isn’t even guaranteeing a spot for Minor Ball is a good idea, and I would hope that our former Board Member, Mayor Bonnett just had a slight over sight when the idea of removing these diamonds were being discussed.
Mandy Hansen, President
Ponoka Minor Ball Association