Club fits kids to a tee

Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Opinion -­mu­ni­ d474397

GEN­ER­A­TION af­ter gen­er­a­tion have stepped up to the plate for Bel­mont Raiders, who are cel­e­brat­ing their 40th sea­son.

Club reg­is­trar Robyn Vaka­tini said the mile­stone showed what an im­pact the club has had on fam­i­lies in the area.

“Forty is amaz­ing; I’m gob­s­macked that my own fam­ily has al­ready been here for 10 years,” she said.

“My hus­band is pres­i­dent and I’ve been on the com­mit­tee for eight years. It’s gone in a flash.”

Chil­dren, par­ents and grand­par­ents con­verge on Forster Park to play and as­sist, with young peo­ple who started at the club com­ing back to coach or be­come ac­cred­ited as um­pires.

Tiny tots start in a mod­i­fied ver­sion of the team sport, with coloured bases at age three, and the tee­ball teams open­ing at age 4½ up to 13 years old.

Aaron Feast is the club’s se­nior coach af­ter play­ing there as a child.

“It’s good that it’s The Bel­mont Raiders are host­ing a 'Have A Go' day on Oc­to­ber 7, with the pub­lic in­vited to come down and meet ev­ery­one from the club. There will be a free sausage siz­zle, drink and icy pole for kids, with a demon­stra­tion game to watch. Reg­is­tra­tions for this sea­son are open on the team web­site at www.bel­montraiders., with play­ers able to re­ceive a 15 per cent dis­count off fees if they quote NEWS17 when reg­is­ter­ing.

still go­ing; my kids are play­ing for the club now, they’re 11 and eight,” he said.

“It’s a safe team en­vi­ron­ment, that’s the big­gest thing.

“It doesn’t mat­ter your gen­der or your age.”

Ms Vaka­tini said club num­bers var­ied each sea­son, with about 100 to 150 kids play­ing Raiders.

She said the fast pace and in­clu­sive na­ture of the sport was what kept chil­dren and fam­i­lies en­gaged.

“It helps that it’s at the same place every week,” Ms Vaka­tini said. “We have par­ents in this area who are fly-in, fly-out, there are a lot of sin­gle par­ents, and if they know they can go to one place where all the kids are play­ing, it’s a huge fac­tor.” for the

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Har­ri­son Bridge­man (12) and Do­minic Bar­b­uto (3) with Bel­mont Raiders mem­bers.

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