Baseball sponsors sought for next season

There are plenty of ways to support minor baseball in Sylvan Lake, according to Sylvan Lake Minor Baseball Association vice president

There are plenty of ways to support minor baseball in Sylvan Lake, according to Sylvan Lake Minor Baseball Association vice president Shawn Van Nistelrooy.

With another baseball season underway in Sylvan Lake, he is working to increase awareness of sponsorship opportunities that the association offers.

While some sponsors are already on board for this season, more are being sought for next season.

“If we do have companies or individuals that were looking at sponsorship, I would love for them to get in touch with me and talk about what the sponsorship would give back to them,” said Van Nistelrooy.

“We do what we can to help the kids to get equipment. We need to make it so that they have the best stuff available to make them competitive.”

As well as being used to purchase new equipment, sponsorships may be put toward jerseys, tournament fees, batting cage upgrades and general association operating costs.

Full sponsorship could allow a company to have its logo displayed on a team’s jerseys.

Van Nistelrooy said enlisting sponsors’ support is often contingent on time of year. Many businesses have deadlines and budgets for their contributions to charitable organizations, and raising awareness of sponsorship opportunities early in the year is important, he said.

For that reason, the association is already seeking sponsors for next season.

Games started earlier this month, and registration has ended. Van Nistelrooy said prospective players may still get in touch with the association to discuss filling any remaining open positions.

Sylvan Lake Lakers, as the association’s teams are known, take part in Central Alberta Baseball League, and compete against teams from Lacombe, Blackfalds, Rimbey and Ponoka, among other places.

Teams are fielded in all age categories of minor baseball, and will play until the season ends in early July.

Van Nistelrooy relocated to Sylvan Lake from Lethbridge last year, where he was active in minor baseball as a coach.

Having experience working with agricultural organizations, he felt he would be able to help the association in Sylvan Lake as a board member.

So far, he has been impressed by the town’s setup.

“Lacrosse is up here, which is a big draw, but ball is still popular,” he said. “It’s a good summertime sport.”

Van Nistelrooy praised the town’s ball diamonds, and said he feels Sylvan Lake offers the ideal environment for baseball. The people involved with the association also greatly enhance its programs for children, he said.

“The coaches are great, from what I’ve seen so far. They’re doing the best they can do, and they’re working with these kids and getting them involved and learning the game.

“They’re doing awesome.”

For further information on Sylvan Lake Minor Baseball Association sponsorship opportunities, contact Shawn Van Nistelrooy at 403-850-7543.

Information about Central Alberta Baseball League, including a schedule of games for Sylvan Lake teams, is available online at www.baseballalberta.com.

Sylvan Lake Minor Baseball Association’s website is www.sylvanlakeminorball.ca, and has a master schedule of all games and practices taking place throughout the summer.