Moosomin receives funding for new baseball diamonds from Toronto Blue Jays
MOOSOMIN -- The Moosomin Minor Ball Association is one of 14 organizations to receive funding from the Toronto Blue Jays’ charity.
The Jays Care Foundation’s Field of Dreams program provides funding to benefit youth, and in Moosomin’s case they are receiving a $15,000 grant. Mike Schwean, director of parks and recreation for the town, applied for the grant on the association’s behalf.
Moosomin is just one of two communities in western Canada to be selected.
Murray Gray, recreation chairman and councillor for the town and baseball coach himself, said the grant from the foundation is being dedicated towards irrigation in what they have deemed the “Mini Jays Complex.” The new multipurpose facility will feature two new diamonds and a youth soccer field.
“We'll put irrigation into [two diamonds] and really help our program out, which is wonderful for them to be involved," said Gray.
Gray and Brad Payette, president of Moosomin Minor Ball Association and also a coach, said the additional diamonds are needed as minor ball numbers have been growing in the community.
"Younger kids were having to play baseball on soccer fields, the school grounds, any where we could find space to put them,” said Payette. “It's going to make a world of difference."
Brad Payette, president of Moosomin Minor Ball Association, coaches the U15 Bantam Boys on Diamond 8 at Bradley Park in Moosomin (Kaylyn Whibbs/CTV Yorkton)
The new diamonds, Pharmasave Field and Sharpe’s Field, will bring the total number of full time diamonds at Bradley Park up from five to seven.
In total, the project will cost $50,000, the remainder of the cost being covered with sponsorships and town funds.
Payette said being able to apply for grants like this from the Jays is '”tremendous.”
"In small towns, other than doing a [ton] of fundraising by all the same groups of people and always after businesses to donate, it's nice to be able to let them off the hook a little bit and source funds like this," said Payette.
Moosomin has been awarded the chance to host multiple provincial events this season and the additional diamonds will only help future bids.
"I remember the game from when I was a kid,” said Gray. “It's good to give kids some exercise and then hopefully they learn to love the game."
The irrigation work on the new diamonds has already begun and according to the town, the multipurpose facility will be ready by fall.