A recent NZCT grant will help make Avonhead Park in Christchurch one of the best baseball diamonds in New Zealand.
The community funder has recently approved a grant of over $4,000 towards installing a soil conditioner to improve the diamond surface in time for the NZ Under 19 National Club Championships in March 2020.
“We are excited and relieved to hear that our application to NZCT had been successful,” says Brian Hemera, President of the Canterbury Baseball Association (CBA). “The CBA has committed to hosting Baseball New Zealand's United Airlines Under 19 National Club Championships in March 2020 which will be the first time the championship has been held outside of Auckland since 2006.”
With at least seven teams travelling to compete against Canterbury’s two local Under 19 club teams, approximately 170 players and officials will be taking part in the tournament.
“Baseball is a minor but growing sport in New Zealand and the CBA is working hard on establishing a facility to allow us to attract members and give us the ability to host national events,” says Brian. “This funding is key to our development. As they said in the movie Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come!”
Baseball had its beginnings in Christchurch in 2004. With the formation of the Canterbury Baseball Association in 2013 and the subsequent development of junior grade baseball, there has been consistent growth over recent years. Games are played in senior grade as well as Under 13, Under 16 and Kiwi-ball (T-ball) grades every Sunday. The current season has seen the introduction of mid-week competitions for the Under 11 and Under 19 grades.
“The help clubs and associations such as CBA get from funding organisations like NZCT is huge,” says Brian. “NZCT staff are always very approachable and keen to help where they can. Thank you NZCT!”