Ancaster Little League ready to play at 2010 tournament

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

After a spring of funding concerns from city officials, the Ancaster Little League scored a home run after politicians last week approved an agreement with the organization to construct a new clubhouse for the 2010 Canadian Little League Championships.

“Everything is looking good,” said Mark Strongman, past-president of the league and the city’s liaison for the championships. “This is an exciting time.”

Ancaster Little League agreed to cover the entire $326,000 cost of the design and construction of the new clubhouse, including pumping station. Mr. Strongman said the club is also on target to complete the clubhouse by the end of December. The club will be approaching the city for various building and construction permits to begin building.

“Everything is on schedule,” he said.

Mr. Strongman was also enthusiastic about the club’s financial obligations meeting its goals. He said clubhouse funding “will be in place”, which will include both grants and in-kind donations. He said a contribution by the carpenters’ union kick-started the club’s fundraising efforts.

“I told them at the time they hit a home run,” said Mr. Strongman. “That was huge by them.”

He said the club has yet to tap into its alumni for any type of assistance.

Politicians will vote on the emergency and community services committee recommendation at their Sept. 16 council meeting.

The relief expressed by Mr. Strongman and the Little League is a far cry from the animosity councillors and the sports club had for each other earlier this year when politicians discovered the Ancaster organization was falling behind on its agreement with the city.

Councillors were criticizing the club for failing to fulfill its financial obligations, and th club was in danger of missing its schedule. The city had set a deadline of April 30, 2009 for capital funds to be confirmed, and the project was slated to be completed by August, 2010.

City staff were also concerned that the club was not living up to its commitments, especially after it lost out on an Ontario Trillium grant. The Trillium grant had been denied to the league because officials didn’t believe money should be used to construct an adjacent pumping station as part of the clubhouse project. Trillium officials believed constructing a pumping station was a municipal responsibility. The league would have received the grant if it was just for diamond redevelopment, said Mr. Strongman.

The city has already spent almost $260,000 to redevelop Ancaster Little League Park, which included work on the diamond, and replacing the sod. The city’s redevelopment project was scheduled to be completed Sept. 11. Mr. Strongman said sod was being installed last week.

Ancaster’s little league organizers attended last month’s Canadian championships in Val D’Or, Quebec, said Mr. Strongman. He said they learned a few things from the organizations that they will implement when the championships are held in Ancaster.

“We really want to get the Hamilton community involved in this event,” he said. “We already have the Ancaster people involved.”

The championships, scheduled for Aug. 4 to 12, is a prestigious event for little league players aged 11 and 12. The championships will determine Canada’s entry to the 2010 Little League World Series, held every year in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and broadcast by ESPN. Ancaster will compete as the host team against other qualifiers from across Canada. The Canadian Little League selected Ancaster as the host city in 2006.

“This is a very high profile event,” said Mr. Strongman. “We will have national coverage and the winner goes to Williamsport.”

Ancaster Little League ready to play at 2010 tournament

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

After a spring of funding concerns from city officials, the Ancaster Little League scored a home run after politicians last week approved an agreement with the organization to construct a new clubhouse for the 2010 Canadian Little League Championships.

“Everything is looking good,” said Mark Strongman, past-president of the league and the city’s liaison for the championships. “This is an exciting time.”

Ancaster Little League agreed to cover the entire $326,000 cost of the design and construction of the new clubhouse, including pumping station. Mr. Strongman said the club is also on target to complete the clubhouse by the end of December. The club will be approaching the city for various building and construction permits to begin building.

“Everything is on schedule,” he said.

Mr. Strongman was also enthusiastic about the club’s financial obligations meeting its goals. He said clubhouse funding “will be in place”, which will include both grants and in-kind donations. He said a contribution by the carpenters’ union kick-started the club’s fundraising efforts.

“I told them at the time they hit a home run,” said Mr. Strongman. “That was huge by them.”

He said the club has yet to tap into its alumni for any type of assistance.

Politicians will vote on the emergency and community services committee recommendation at their Sept. 16 council meeting.

The relief expressed by Mr. Strongman and the Little League is a far cry from the animosity councillors and the sports club had for each other earlier this year when politicians discovered the Ancaster organization was falling behind on its agreement with the city.

Councillors were criticizing the club for failing to fulfill its financial obligations, and th club was in danger of missing its schedule. The city had set a deadline of April 30, 2009 for capital funds to be confirmed, and the project was slated to be completed by August, 2010.

City staff were also concerned that the club was not living up to its commitments, especially after it lost out on an Ontario Trillium grant. The Trillium grant had been denied to the league because officials didn’t believe money should be used to construct an adjacent pumping station as part of the clubhouse project. Trillium officials believed constructing a pumping station was a municipal responsibility. The league would have received the grant if it was just for diamond redevelopment, said Mr. Strongman.

The city has already spent almost $260,000 to redevelop Ancaster Little League Park, which included work on the diamond, and replacing the sod. The city’s redevelopment project was scheduled to be completed Sept. 11. Mr. Strongman said sod was being installed last week.

Ancaster’s little league organizers attended last month’s Canadian championships in Val D’Or, Quebec, said Mr. Strongman. He said they learned a few things from the organizations that they will implement when the championships are held in Ancaster.

“We really want to get the Hamilton community involved in this event,” he said. “We already have the Ancaster people involved.”

The championships, scheduled for Aug. 4 to 12, is a prestigious event for little league players aged 11 and 12. The championships will determine Canada’s entry to the 2010 Little League World Series, held every year in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and broadcast by ESPN. Ancaster will compete as the host team against other qualifiers from across Canada. The Canadian Little League selected Ancaster as the host city in 2006.

“This is a very high profile event,” said Mr. Strongman. “We will have national coverage and the winner goes to Williamsport.”

Ancaster Little League ready to play at 2010 tournament

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

After a spring of funding concerns from city officials, the Ancaster Little League scored a home run after politicians last week approved an agreement with the organization to construct a new clubhouse for the 2010 Canadian Little League Championships.

“Everything is looking good,” said Mark Strongman, past-president of the league and the city’s liaison for the championships. “This is an exciting time.”

Ancaster Little League agreed to cover the entire $326,000 cost of the design and construction of the new clubhouse, including pumping station. Mr. Strongman said the club is also on target to complete the clubhouse by the end of December. The club will be approaching the city for various building and construction permits to begin building.

“Everything is on schedule,” he said.

Mr. Strongman was also enthusiastic about the club’s financial obligations meeting its goals. He said clubhouse funding “will be in place”, which will include both grants and in-kind donations. He said a contribution by the carpenters’ union kick-started the club’s fundraising efforts.

“I told them at the time they hit a home run,” said Mr. Strongman. “That was huge by them.”

He said the club has yet to tap into its alumni for any type of assistance.

Politicians will vote on the emergency and community services committee recommendation at their Sept. 16 council meeting.

The relief expressed by Mr. Strongman and the Little League is a far cry from the animosity councillors and the sports club had for each other earlier this year when politicians discovered the Ancaster organization was falling behind on its agreement with the city.

Councillors were criticizing the club for failing to fulfill its financial obligations, and th club was in danger of missing its schedule. The city had set a deadline of April 30, 2009 for capital funds to be confirmed, and the project was slated to be completed by August, 2010.

City staff were also concerned that the club was not living up to its commitments, especially after it lost out on an Ontario Trillium grant. The Trillium grant had been denied to the league because officials didn’t believe money should be used to construct an adjacent pumping station as part of the clubhouse project. Trillium officials believed constructing a pumping station was a municipal responsibility. The league would have received the grant if it was just for diamond redevelopment, said Mr. Strongman.

The city has already spent almost $260,000 to redevelop Ancaster Little League Park, which included work on the diamond, and replacing the sod. The city’s redevelopment project was scheduled to be completed Sept. 11. Mr. Strongman said sod was being installed last week.

Ancaster’s little league organizers attended last month’s Canadian championships in Val D’Or, Quebec, said Mr. Strongman. He said they learned a few things from the organizations that they will implement when the championships are held in Ancaster.

“We really want to get the Hamilton community involved in this event,” he said. “We already have the Ancaster people involved.”

The championships, scheduled for Aug. 4 to 12, is a prestigious event for little league players aged 11 and 12. The championships will determine Canada’s entry to the 2010 Little League World Series, held every year in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and broadcast by ESPN. Ancaster will compete as the host team against other qualifiers from across Canada. The Canadian Little League selected Ancaster as the host city in 2006.

“This is a very high profile event,” said Mr. Strongman. “We will have national coverage and the winner goes to Williamsport.”