Winter Development Ryde Exchange

All those who were involved would no doubt agree that this year’s Ryde Exchange was a great success. The weather was clear, the playing surface dry and it certainly didn’t get too hot. In fact a little global warming wouldn’t have gone astray in the first timeslot each morning. Thank goodness we didn’t start play until 9.30. Anyway it was great to see the players get so much baseball - some of them were actually worn out Sunday afternoon.

Thanks to Renae Matthews from Marlins for most of the photos on the CSJBA website. Thank you also to Sharks Club President Jason Choat and his helpers for hosting us at Sylvania on Saturday. Groundsman Phil Hollis had the fields looking a picture. Sunday we all trekked up to Greenway Park at Cherrybrook and the fun begun on Saturday was continued. I witnessed many excellent plays and saw lots of smiling faces. The camaraderie achieved and the spirit that developed amongst our children was well worth the effort involved in organising the event. It was an opportunity for children to wear a Sharks uniform and to participate in matches against another Association.

For some it may their only rep baseball exposure and I’m sure they will cherish the experience and memory – especially if they made a good play or got a hit that scored a run (and I’m sure they all did). Thanks also to the coaches who gave up their time to prepare and direct the teams. We had a number who turned up despite not having children involved. One of the Ryde officials (a major contributor up there) commented to me that they just don’t have the coaches to run as successful a winter program as they’d like. We struggle too but apparently we’re considerably better placed than our colleagues from the Ryde Hornsby Association. Hopefully our parents appreciate the volunteers that are guiding their children - I certainly do.

The surprise of the weekend was the performance of our U/10 group. They played brilliantly both in the Saturday Zooka and on Sunday when they had a go at pitching. Some were astounding with their ability. I also saw many individual examples of excellence while umpiring the 12’s and 14’s. It was an outstanding effort and I congratulate all involved – parents/chauffeurs, supporters, players and officials.

In its second year this initiative has been very successful and I look forward to next year’s exchange. (especially because our new head coach has expressed an enthusiasm to organise it!)