The minor softball Timbits team is itching to get on the Doug Kerr baseball field on opening day. (Submitted)

Port and Pembina pitch $71,500 to bring Doug Kerr ballpark home

Softball and baseball revival in Prince Rupert drives need for restored park

A revival in baseball and softball has driven the need for a ballpark closer to home.

Doug Kerr Field originated as a minor baseball field, before it deteriorated into a plot of land only fit for dogs to frolic in. Then in 2015, the Prince Rupert Minor Softball Association was formed, and in 2016, the North Coast Minor Baseball League emerged, recruiting a whole new generation of little leaguers to grow the beloved sport. With this revival, came the need for more ballparks.

Funding for the ballpark to open this season came in droves from community sponsors including a $41,500 contribution from the Port of Prince Rupert and $30,000 from Pembina. Additional funding came from Sperling Hansen, Rupert Wood’N Steel, L & M Engineering, Broadwater Industries, and RONA Tyee Building Supplies, a new Doug Kerr Field is born.

“The City of Prince Rupert is thankful for the support of local businesses like the Port of Prince Rupert who recognized the importance of this project and provided the funding to ensure it happened in time for the 2018 baseball and softball seasons,” said Mayor Lee Brain, in the press release. “It’s great to see new and expanded recreation options for the youth of Prince Rupert, and Doug Kerr Field will be a legacy asset for this community as we continue to grow in the coming years.”

The Vice President of Pembina, Brad Kohlsmith, said he understands the importance of sports in kids’ lives. It’s a topic that hits home for Kohlsmith, as a father himself.

“Baseball diamonds and recreation facilities provide an important space for families and communities to come together,” Kohlsmith said.

READ MORE: North Coast Minor Baseball Association returns to the mound

Emily Kawaguchi, president of the North Coast Minor Baseball Association also thanked supporting businesses. “Our kids have been thrilled to be able to play baseball again, and we’re really pleased to have more field capacity as the league continues to grow,” she said.

“We need access to safe and well-maintained ball diamonds to successfully maintain youth softball,” said Ralph Weick, President of the Prince Rupert Minor Softball Association. “The port, the city, and the other corporate sponsors really came through for us to get this project done.”

There are now six fields for games, including McKeown Park in Port Edward, Crestview Park, Roosevelt Park, Chris Maguire Field, Patty Hutcheon Field and Doug Kerr Field.

READ MORE: Doug Kerr dog park to be restored as baseball field

“Creating and restoring recreational assets in the Prince Rupert area has been one of the most obvious outcomes of our Community Investment Fund, and we’re excited to help bring Doug Kerr Field back into use for minor baseball and softball,” said Joe Rektor, interim president and CEO for the Port of Prince Rupert. “The size and central location of the field is ideal for younger players, and we look forward to seeing kids enjoying the sport here for many years to come.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Anglers furious over VIP fishing trip

DFO, SkeenaWild both investigating legality of FN research licence to fishing party

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Visibility improvements coming for Prince Rupert’s downtown streets

Work on McBride Street and Second Avenue intersections, crosswalks, will take place this fall

Pipeline challenger says his feelings are irrelevant

The prospect of a federal review has Kitimat and Terrace businesses and residents worried

Prince Rupert receives Softball BC’s association of the year nomination

Association could receive $1,000 and a free coaching clinic as prizes

More than 125 runners take part in Northern View Cannery Road Race

Teen Terrace runners first to finish 5km and 10km, Prince Rupert runner wins 21km race

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read