Local clubs join forces for "new beginning"

Kingsley Collins

7 March 2019

 

Both boasting long and distinguished sporting traditions, Ballarat City Baseball Club and Mounties Youth Centre Baseball Club this week formally announced their merger into a single club identity committed to ensuring the ongoing growth of baseball in the Ballarat region.

 

Under its constitution ratified this week, the club will be known as Ballarat Royals Baseball Club, based at Prince of Wales Reserve.

 

“It is a very exciting time for all of us,” said former Brewers stalwart and inaugural Royals President Wes McKnight, who was among driving forces behind the merger.

 

“The club will have senior teams entered in Geelong Baseball Association competition that begins during April,” he said. “We expect to field teams in A Grade, A Reserve and C Grade – with the possibility of a fourth senior side, depending on our numbers.”

 

“A junior summer development programme will continue to run for T-Ball and for players up to eighteen years. Over time we expect that to have a real impact on our senior numbers.”

 

“It is vital to us – and to the sport – that we maintain a presence for twelve months of the year.”

 

Members of Ballarat City and Mounties YC were both canvassed for their support and comment which led to adoption of the new identity – including input to branding, constitution and to election of office-bearers at a recent inaugural General Meeting.

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Club colours will be black with shades of purple and grey game-day pants. Players are expected to be in full uniform by the second or third week of the 2019 Geelong Baseball Association season.

 

“It was agreed from early on that the lengthy history of both founding clubs needed to be maintained and acknowledged,” Wes McKnight said. “We both recognised that our cultures and missions were aligned, making the process so much easier as we moved towards pooling our resources and working through the legal and practical issues that were involved.”

 

“We see the merger as a new beginning, hopefully sparking a reinvigoration of local baseball at a time when it was faltering a little – despite Ballarat having such a rich baseball history and possessing some of the very best playing facilities in the state.”

 

Already in training for the upcoming Geelong season, the Royals are poised to hit the ground running – tasked first with playing host to the Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival in mid-March before imposing their presence on the mainstream winter competition.

 

“Local clubs have always supported this great event,” McKnight said. “We look forward to helping make it the best tournament yet and securing rights to the annual Carnival for Ballarat well into the future – hopefully to at least double its already incredible life of over two decades.”

Actively on the lookout for new players – experienced or not, of any age or gender – Ballarat Royals Baseball Club trains at Prince of Wales Reserve each Tuesday and Thursday, starting at 6.00 PM.

 

For more information on the Ballarat Royals, please contact President Wes McKnight (0408 518976), Secretary Wayne Drever (0418 580538, w.neil@optusnet.com.au) or engage with the club on its FACEBOOK page.

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