Take her out to the ball game…
Nova Scotia is home to some of the youngest and most enthusiastic baseball players in the country. Each year, leagues throughout the province promote their athletes at a national level, and many of Nova Scotia’s most promising prospects are females.
Brad Lawlor, the executive director for Baseball Nova Scotia, largely attributes the sport’s popularity to increases in financial support.
“Funding has allowed us to really market the game at a grassroots level and get more girls engaged,” he says. Through programs such as Support4Sport, Baseball Nova Scotia has been able to promote their sporting events and increase attendance. “It’s allowed us to reach the entire province” says Brad
- 2008 – 2011: 45 per cent increase in girls’ baseball in Nova Scotia.
- Nova Scotia only Atlantic Canadian provide consistently sending girls to national bantam tournaments.
- Athletes include: Janice Campbell, Sarah Burgess and Meaghan Bremner.
- 2011: first ever Baseball Canada National Championships female medal in Atlantic Canadian history won by the Nova Scotia Bantam Girls team (bronze).
Due to the sport’s growing demand, and with financial assistance from Support4Sport, Baseball Nova Scotia created an annual all-day skills camp for girls, the first of its kind in Canada.
“Now we have a day to recognize and celebrate girls’ baseball, whereas before we didn’t have the funding,” Brad says. Since it began, the Girls Day in Baseball training camps have been a great success.
The sport continues to gain momentum in other parts of Canada with inspiring increases in participation. One example is an all-girls league in Hammonds Plains. Through the commitment of baseball fanatics like Holly Lapierre, the game’s popularity has exploded in the community.
Hammonds Plains All-Girls League Growth
- 2006: 20 female players
- 2011: 160 female players
Baseball Nova Scotia is also offering more programs at a grassroots level than many provinces. The demand for more female-focused programs has allowed them to offer female umpire clinics and all girls coaching clinics.
As these teams continue to develop, more and more talented girls are coming up to bat and getting exposure at the national level.
“Our goal is to make sure that everyone can take part in our baseball programs and the first step is making them aware. The Support4Sport funding has really allowed us to maximize the exposure of the sport."