Regina is just days away from hosting one of the biggest little league baseball tournaments in the country.
On Tuesday, Aug. 1, the Canadian Little League Championships will see teams from across Canada fighting for their spot in the Little League World Series.
The division competing will be youth under 12 years old, and for Janel Walter, whose son will be competing on the All-Star team, this week is an exciting time for the family.
“We’re so excited and happy for them to have this opportunity,” Walter said. “It really can be a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
For her son Pierce, she wants him to just go out and play baseball.
“He’s very excited, but at the end of the day, these are like 11- and 12-year-olds that really just love to play baseball,” she said. “And maybe that’s the best way for them to be mentally. Not overly excited or overly nervous, but just come out and play the game that they’ve been playing and working so hard to be good at.”
The winner of the tournament heads to Williamsport, Penn., for the world championship.
The winning team will have just 48 hours before the plane leaves from Regina to Pennsylvania.
The last time a Saskatchewan-based team made it to the tournament was in 2002. And this week, people from the 2002 team will be in attendance to help cheer on the new team.
“We’re going to have a big chunk of that team back here at the tournament for our opening ceremonies and they’ll be around throughout the week,” said organizer Dean McQueen.
And while the tournament may focus on those on the field, McQueen said it is also a good chance for the baseball community across Canada to see what Regina has to offer.
“We’ve got a lot of new infrastructure here in the park and it’s really about our future players as well,” he explained. “It’s about building a long-lasting legacy diamond that can be used for years into the future with all our new players coming up through the ranks.”
The tournament starts on Aug. 1 and runs until Aug. 10 at the North Regina Little League.