The startup Orange Sox boys softball team is looking for players to compete in the 2020 and 2022 B.C. Summer Games. (Pixabay)

The startup Orange Sox boys softball team is looking for players to compete in the 2020 and 2022 B.C. Summer Games. (Pixabay)

New Island team aimed at rejuvenating boys softball

Orange Sox hope to play in 2020 and 2022 B.C. Summer Games

Shaun Myall hopes to take the colour orange and make it gold this summer.

The veteran coach is heading up a pilot program under the sponsorship of Softball B.C. to return an Island boys’ fastball team to the B.C. Summer Games.

“The Orange Sox program is unique,” Rick Benson, executive director of Softball B.C., said. “This is the first time anywhere in the province where somebody has started a program like this for boys’ fastpitch.”

“We’re really interested to see how this develops out. It could be an example for other urban areas.”

The need for the program, aimed at 13 to 16 year old boys, is more out of necessity than need.

For the past decade, boys’ softball number have dwindled in the province’s urban areas, as teen boys take up baseball, soccer and other sports during the summer.

RELATED: Countdown starts to 2020 BC Summer Games

The situation was dire two years when the Island failed – for the first time – to field a boys’ softball team for the B.C. Summer Games.

It was then that Myall approached Softball B.C. with a plan to create a development program that would field a team in both the 2020 and 2022 B.C. Summer Games.

“The O’Sox program is to increase awareness of the sport on Vancouver Island,” Myall said.

Myall hopes to register 45 players this summer between the ages of 13 to 19.

Those older than 16 can’t play in the B.C. Summer Games, but they can participate in the U20 and U19 provincial championships under the Orange Sox banner, he said.

“We’re trying to get players back into the game. The Island has a rich lineage of producing world-class players that have represented local B.C. cities in regional, provincial, national and international play,” Myall said.

So far, Myall has interest from 12 players as he recruits from Port Hardy to Victoria. He hopes to host free clinics this spring in Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Victoria and Campbell River. A full training camp is planned for March. The team will be based in Saanich.

And Myall isn’t looking for the most gifted players.

“It doesn’t matter what skill level they have – even if they’ve never played the game – we want them in the program,” he said.

Help is also needed on the program’s management and coaching sides.

For more information, please go online to www.osox.ca.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC GamesSoftball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo city council voted unanimously Monday to pass a bylaw establishing the foundation for a new downtown business improvement association. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo adopts bylaw to create new downtown business improvement association

Chamber of commerce says next steps will be a board of directors and five-year strategic plan

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: RCMP say Wakesiah Avenue fire was arson, suspect has been arrested

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

The City of Nanaimo will further investigate an initiative to set up two 12-cabin sites to create transitional emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. (Black Press file photo)
City of Nanaimo will ask for expressions of interest to operate tiny cabin sites

Staff expresses concern about workload, councillor says sheltering people must take priority

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Most Read