Junior FunFest ramps up

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Approximately 90 children stepped up to the plate on Saturday for the first annual Trenton Junior Funfest at Scotia Park.

Four teams of kids from ages eight to 12 years old took part in the softball tournament aimed to give young athletes another opportunity to play ball.

Robin Hatt, who organized the event, said he extended the invitation to the local grammar school league to see who wanted to put teams in the event.

“It gives them a chance to finish off their season,” he said.

He added that the tournament also leads into the Trenton Minor Softball Learn to Play and House League program that’s starting its season.

“We’re trying to grow it as big as quick as we can to get as many kids on the field.”

He said the program has great support from parents helping coach and has increased from 22 kids last year to 95 this year.

“Our goal is to get kids off the couch, off the streets and on a ballfield.”

Hatt noted all of the recent improvements to the field and credited Cindy MacKinnon and the Scotia Park Renovation Project committee.

“If we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t have a field to play on.”

Though the major renovations are complete, MacKinnon said the volunteer committee still has $30,000 left to raise. After receiving a Canada 150 grant last summer, they took out a loan in order to be able to have the ball field ready to be used this spring and summer. Those upgrades have included new fencing, new light poles and lights, accessible toilets and sinks, renovations to the in-field and new dugouts.

MacKinnon thanked everyone who has donated to the project, adding that it’s not too late to contribute, and noted the amount of work Mike MacKinnon has put into it. She said he spent Christmas break at the field finishing the dugouts, as well as taking vacation before the season started to make sure everything was ready.

“It just shows how much he wants to see the kids play ball and how much he wants to see the sport thrive.”

The committee is planning on having a grand reopening on the ball field on July 20 with a barbecue, speeches and a game between Central Nova MP Sean Fraser’s team and the Scotia Park Renovation Project group.