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Fort Macleod Co-ed Slowpitch League gearing up for new season

The Fort Macleod Co-ed Slowpitch League is gearing up for another season of friendly competition.
League organizers concentrate on providing an enjoyable atmosphere in which people can get some exercise in a spirit of friendly competition.
“It’s a fun league,” organizer Bobbi Curran stressed. “If you want competitive it’s not really your place. It’s not all about winning. It’s about socializing and having an evening out with friends.”
Kathie Nathe agreed, explaining organizing an adult co-ed slowpitch league is in part about building community in Fort Macleod.
“Co-ed ball has introduced myself to people I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” Nathe said. “It’s a fun social activity. We have really made the league into a tight group. We all have fun, support each other and get a little exercise in.”
Curran, Nathe, Wes Stockton and Henry Roelofson have been work with the Town of Fort Macleod in recent years to make needed improvements to Fort Macleod Volunteer Park.
“We have a beautiful facility to use,” Nathe said. “It was neglected and under-used. We are working with the town to fix that.”
Some of the improvements include planting new trees, installing a yard light and repairing fences.
Underground sprinklers have been installed at one diamond with plans to do so in the others, and bleachers have been moved in.
“We have great diamonds out there,” Curran said, praising the co-operation of parks foreman Dan Smith and chief administrative officer Sue Keenan. “The town has been awesome.”
For the 2017 season the league purchased new bases and mats.
“We have made changes each year to make things run smoother than the year before,” Nathe said.
The league had seven teams last season and both Nathe and Curran expect it to add teams in 2017.
“I think we’re going to grow a little bit,” Curran said.
In an attempt to spur growth, the slowpitch league reached out to teams in the Fort Macleod Co-ed Volleyball League to encourage them to stay together and play ball.
Slowpitch organizers are also reaching out to young people in Fort Macleod and district to join the league.
“We’re trying to recruit younger teams to come out and play,” Curran said.
Games will be played Monday and Wednesday night at 7 p.m. beginning May 29 and continuing to Aug. 23.
The league purposely chose to schedule games on days that do not conflict with league play at the Fort Macleod Golf Club.
A post season tournament will be held Aug. 25-27.
The league will continue the “Sociable Sundays” program it started last year, inviting people to the diamond at 4 p.m. to practice and play pick-up games and, as the name indicates, socialize.
Sociable Sundays are scheduled for May 7, May 14 and May 21, with a season kickoff barbecue free to all players in the league on May 28.
The league has traditionally required teams to field three women and seven men, but discussions are under way about a 6-4 split.
The fee is $500 per team.
To register a team call Kathie Nathe at 403-308-1983.

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