The Grande Prairie Pirates girls fastball program is asking for additional cash from the city to support growing demands. Rhiannon Bradley, Fundraising Coordinator for Grande Prairie Pirates Fastball says that the plan would start with converting local diamonds into exclusive fastball diamonds.

“That would start with parkside diamonds and having a plan more dedicated moving forward just for the sport of fastball,” she says. “As of right now, nowhere in Alberta has exclusive fastball diamonds. I’d like us to be the first”

Bradley says the girls’ fastball programs have grown in recent years, starting with just a couple of players in the program in 2019, before ballooning to 44 last year. She adds a dedicated fastball program also allows them to continue pursuing the sport at a collegiate level and maybe even reach the Olympics.

“Recent fastball events we’ve hosted here in Grande Prairie have really put us on the map… Alberta has a huge softball and fastball community. We’d like for our region to become the hub of fastball in the province.”

Bradley says her biggest dream would see Grande Prairie take the next step with a professional facility for fastball players.

“Ideally, I’d like to have a stadium built. That’s a big project that I’d love for our city to look at down the line. As of now, we’re asking the city for about $20,000 to support costs.”

Bradley says that all of their programs wouldn’t be possible without amazing volunteers and coaches in the community.

The Pirates are adding a boys program and women’s league in 2022, and hope to continue to expand from there.