August 8, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fastball returns to Hackett Park
Sechelt, BC – Sunshine Coast Men’s Fastpitch League playoffs will take place at Hackett Park August 11/12, 2018
The Sunshine Coast Men's Fastpitch League have agreed to work with District of Sechelt staff to mitigate safety issues at Hackett Park. Temporary improvements will be made to allow for the playoffs to take place at Hackett Park on August 11 and 12, 10am to 5pm. Neighbours will be notified in advance and signage will be posted to alert drivers and passersby of the upcoming tournament. In addition to the signage, temporary improvements for the playoffs will include a home run fence, a portable toilet and additional wildlife resistant garbage bins, in addition to the signage.
The league accepted that modern safety requirements and permanent upgrades to the baseball diamonds are needed if fastpitch is to continue playing at Hackett Park. Larger backstops and permanent netting are required to reduce the number of foul balls leaving the field. The league is considering the potential costs and funding options for the required safety improvements.
Mayor Bruce Milne noted that, “people have been able to walk over and watch summer baseball games at Hackett Park for many years. Helping this tradition continue by supporting these upgrades will be a benefit to the community.”
The District of Sechelt is concerned about safety and behavioural issues arising from the Sunshine Coast Men's Fastpitch League playing at Hackett Park over the past two years. Concerns were shared by District staff with the league and the Municipal Insurance Association of BC (MIABC). MIABC’s assessment was that there was a safety risk that needed to be addressed. In January 2018 the District made a decision to relocate the fastball league from Hackett Park to Kinnikinnick, which was recently upgraded with baseball lighting. The league advised that field configurations at Kinnikinnick work for slow pitch but not fastball. The league presented as a delegation to Council in July 2018 asking that they be allowed to play at Hackett Park again. Since then, the league and the District have been addressing the issues to find potential solutions.