A Fourth Diamond for Calgary Senior Men's Slopitch
Hello League Members:
As you probably know, for many years our League has talked about gaining access to the very under-utilized ‘Triwood Baseball’ diamond just to the south of the Triwood diamond we currently use. The idea has been to get the City of Calgary to release the diamond to the control of our partner, the Triwood Community Association. To date there has been little progress on this, but it’s a critical issue if our League is going to continue to flourish at our Triwood location.
Your Board has started a three-pronged renewed effort toward getting this fourth diamond. We will be trying to engage the City of Calgary Parks Department and Ward 4 Councillor Sean Chu to work on the issue with Triwood Community Association. In addition, we’ll soon be asking you to sign a petition which will let the City know of our desire. Please have a look at the letter which has been sent to Councillor Chu:
Dear Councillor Chu,
I’d like to tell you about a wonderful organization operating within your Ward 4, which every week brings hundreds of people together for healthy recreation and social interaction and which also generates Ward 4 neighbourhood economic activity.
The Calgary Senior Men’s Slopitch League is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It is a remarkable organization with an affiliated women’s league, indoor winter activities and travel teams which represent the City of Calgary by traveling across western Canada and to places such as Montana, Utah and Florida in the USA. The CSMSL has called the Triwood Community Centre and Charleswood Drive/Northmount Drive softball diamonds our home for many years. Every week from May through September, over 300 senior men and as many as 75 senior women gather to play ball. Our League has been a model of positive activity within the Triwood area of Ward 4, and we hope to continue there for many years to come. Last year we were even featured on the CTV Calgary and CTV National evening news as we re-started our activities after being prevented from playing for so long due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Best of all, we are in growth mode! We’ve maintained a steady membership despite the COVID pandemic, but we truly believe that in a city the size of Calgary there are many, many more seniors who would like to enjoy our sport with us. We will be undertaking advertising and promotion this off-season to grow our League, potentially by an additional 30%.
Our problem, however, is that at the moment we only have three diamonds on which to play. One of these is at the Triwood Community Centre and under their control. We have a wonderful working relationship with them. There is, however, an additional diamond controlled by the City of Calgary next to the Community Centre which receives very little use. We have suggested for many years that this diamond would be better put to use by giving control of it to Triwood C.C. who would rent the diamond to the CSMSL and others. We have petitioned Parks and Recreation, and the idea seems to have merit, but after years of waiting, there seems to be no movement toward making this diamond more available. And is there anything sadder than an empty ball diamond?
We could do so much with this diamond! It grieves us to see it sitting empty so often. Our biggest fear is that we will grow so large and so fast that with the limited diamond availability at Triwood we would have to move to another venue outside of Ward 4, which would be a severe reduction in the positive activity we bring to the neighbourhood, to Triwood Community Centre and to Triwood’s JT’s pub where our members spend so much time after games.
Our League would like to ask that you check out the status of our request before the Park and Recreation Department and see if there is any recourse available. We would love to be able to expand our activities for the 2023 Calgary Senior Men’s Slopitch League season next May 1st.
While you are at it, I would like to personally extend to you an invitation to attend one of our games this year to see how we are benefiting our members and the neighbourhood. After a 30-game season, we are just starting our playoffs and you could come by during the day to see our older guys play, or in the evening to see our ‘young bucks’ (55-65) play. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days you are most likely to catch a game. It would be a great opportunity for you to meet our large membership, many of whom live in your Ward. Please contact me and I would love to arrange a time for you to check out what’s going on at Triwood/Charleswood as we head into our exciting playoff run!
Gary W. Paukert
Calgary Senior Men’s Slopitch League
This notice is meant mainly to keep you, the membership, informed about what we are doing. But as a member you can help. Sign the upcoming petition. And if you live in Ward 4, you can certainly contact Councillor Chu and express your support.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fourth diamond for the 2023 CSMS League season and all the the flexibility and growth that would allow? Let’s make this happen!