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Grande Prairie Pirates Minor Fastball officials searching for more diamond time

Officials with GP Pirates Minor Fastball are hoping the city will give more thought to designating a pair of prominent ball diamonds in the city for the quickly growing youth league.

Fundraising Coordinator Rhiannon Bradley says they’re currently looking at as many as 750 hours of total use across Grande Prairie diamonds for both girls and boys fastball, with a desire to see South Bear Creek’s diamonds 1 and 2 become a regular space they can use. She says while she understands the adult slo-pitch is the dominant user of diamonds in the city, the quickly expanding youth league must get at least something close to a fair share.

“They are a huge facilitator of those diamonds, but there are more people who need to use them as well,” she says. “There are other options, it was more of a means to an end, getting these kids out playing now and have future development plans for infrastructure, unfortunately, it does come at the expense of the adult play for slo-pitch,” she adds.

Bradley says it’s not just the fastball league facing potential shortages for diamond time however. Suggesting that they know they won’t get the diamond space needed as is, as there simply isn’t enough to go around overall.

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“There have been so many diamonds demolished, taken out and not replaced… about 11 diamonds in 10 years,” she says. “It doesn’t put a dent in the need for slo-pitch, and then it trickles down, it’s a domino effect for sure.”

Bradley adds since 2019, the number of players registered to play in the GP Pirates Minor Fastball League has jumped from just over 50 to just under 200.

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