Soft­ball stal­wart hon­oured at Labour Day Tour­na­ment

Barry Chislett of Cavendish in­volved in event since 1988

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS

At­tend­ing ev­ery Clarenville Labour Day Soft­ball Tour­na­ment for al­most 30 years, it’s near im­pos­si­ble to be more of a lo­cal fix­ture than Barry Chislett.

Hail­ing from Cavendish, Trin­ity Bay, Chislett told TC Media a love of the game is what keeps him com­ing back to Clarenville year af­ter year. “All the boys are the same (as me). They’re like kids at Christ­mas — wait­ing to get up Christ­mas morn­ing — can’t wait,” said Chislett.

The com­mute is about an hour and a half, but Chislett said that’s noth­ing when there is soft­ball to be played. “From the time I was 12 to 13 years old I got into ball and I played a lot of hockey and that too. But soft­ball, I man­aged to stick with it,” he said.

Over the years, he’s been com­ing and reg­is­ter­ing many dif­fer­ent teams — this year he coached Shag Rock. While he doesn’t play any­more be­cause of in­juries, he likes be­ing around the game and teach­ing, es­pe­cially to some of the next gen­er­a­tion of soft­ball play­ers.

“I’m sure I can pass on a lit­tle bit of knowl­edge to the younger crowd,” he said. “And to watch them; I’ve seen play­ers start when they were 15 to 16 years old and now they’re prob­a­bly 25 to 28 years old with kids of their own. I love see­ing all that, watch­ing them all grow up.”

Tour­na­ment con­vener Scott Maid­ment made a spe­cial point of rec­og­niz­ing Chislett this year for his years of ded­i­ca­tion to the an­nual tour­na­ment. He pre­sented him with a per­son­al­ized jacket for his ser­vice.

Maid­ment said it’s im­por­tant to rec­og­nize those who con­trib­ute and peo­ple like Chislett rep­re­sent the great longevity of the pop­u­lar event. He said it sets a good ex­am­ple for the younger play­ers. “There’s al­ways new young blood com­ing into these tour­na­ments,” said Maid­ment. “(They) can learn from (Barry) be­cause he’s been at it so long that he’s fa­mil­iar with ev­ery­thing now, it’s just rou­tine.”

When asked how it feels to be hon­oured, Chislett joked it cer­tainly made him feel old. He also com­mended Maid­ment and Neil Green­ing for all the work they put in to mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing runs smoothly each year for ev­ery­one’s ben­e­fit.

“I en­joy it my­self so I’m not look­ing for any recog­ni­tion or any­thing be­cause I just love com­ing down here,” said Chislett.

He said the teams from his area don’t get a chance to play much ball aside from some scat­tered tour­na­ments, and the big Labour Day Clas­sic is a sta­ple for the end of the sea­son. He’s even made friends that he looks for­ward to see­ing each year at the event. “I see peo­ple here, friends of mine, that’s the only time I see them when I meet them down here Labour Day Week­end, and you see them again the fol­low­ing year,” said Chislett.

It’s such a big deal for Chislett and “the boys” he said once this year’s tour­na­ment is over, they al­ready be­gin look­ing for­ward to next year’s.

“We love com­ing out here, al­ways did. (We) never had any trou­ble, the peo­ple are great to get along with. It’s ex­cel­lent,” he said.

PHOTO BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS/TC MEDIA

Barry Chislett (right) ac­cepts his per­son­al­ized jacket from the Clarenville Labour Day Soft­ball Tour­na­ment con­vener Scott Maid­ment as recog­ni­tion for years of ded­i­ca­tion to the event.

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