Baseball is a much loved sport in the City of Chestermere but with ball diamonds that are less than desirable to play on, the sport isn’t as active as it could be. But thanks to a $150,000 investment from the Jays Care Foundations, new life has been brought to one of Chestermeres ball diamonds.
Behind Chestermere Lake Middle School, what once was a dilapidated ball diamond, now lays a true field of dreams – thanks to the Toronto Blue Jays. On Tuesday, August 2nd 2016, the Jays Care Foundation, a charitable sister organization of the Toronto Blue Jays, joined City of Chestermere council, staff and other representatives to unveil the newly refurbished Jays Care Foundation Field. The project was the recipient of a $150,000 Field of Dreams investment from Jays Care, which was used to refurbish a diamond that had become unsafe for local children.
“The success of the Blue Jays has created a sudden need for baseball facilities across Canada and Jays Care is committed to providing Canadian children and youth with access to high- quality, safe spaces in which to learn life lessons through sport,” said Robert Witchel, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation. “The City of Chestermere is a perfect partner for Jays Care – their youth needed a diamond to play, learn and grow on and we are honored to play a role in bringing this dream to reality.”
Over the past sixteen years, the Jays Care Foundation has invested more than $8.15 million towards the creation/refurbishment of 78 safe spaces for children and youth including 44 baseball diamonds across Canada.
Chestermere only has two ball diamonds that are designed for younger children, Chestermere Lake Middle School’s ball diamond being one of them. However, over the years, the field slowly deteriorated to the point that little league teams were no longer able to practice or play there and were forced to use the soccer field instead with make shift bases, diamond and home plate.
In a press release from the City of Chestermere, they state “The new field will encourage the continued development of baseball in a community that is continuing to grow; with 30% of the population under the age of 20, this contribution will ensure that Chestermere’s youngest residents will have a safe and dependable field on which to learn the sport”.
Mayor Matthews, who threw the first pitch at the unveiling of the new filed, added, “There is a lot of excitement around this ball diamond in our community and we are thrilled to have welcomed Blue Jays representatives to the opening”.