Ucluelet’s softball season is getting back in swing.
The sport was once a popular summertime activity among local adults, but participation waned and it was completely absent from the recreational landscape when Brandon Lytle moved to town from Ontario last year.
“I had just come to town and I had all my bases and gloves and everything with me and there was no game going on,” he said adding he reached out through friends and social media channels to get some pick-up softball action going and was pleased with the response.
“We started having a barbecue and game every week, pretty much all summer.”
With spring’s sun finally beaming down, Lytle is ready to throw down another softball season and has teamed up with Ucluelet’s Parks and Recreation Department to bring a boosted offering this year.
“I think the game is going to grow a lot this year working with the district,” Lytle said. “We’ve got a lot more people interested.”
Opening day is scheduled for May 3 and drop in games will run every Wednesday. Lytle hopes to see strong enough interest to form a league next year.
“We’ve got all the equipment, all we need is people to bring themselves. We’ve got more than enough gloves and bats and balls and it’s just something you can pick and something to keep you active in the summer,” he said. “You get busy with a lot of work in the summer and you’ve got to go out and have some fun and crush some balls sometimes.”
He said softball games help locals meet locals and connect the community.
“It’s a great way to get to know people,” he said. “It’s a community thing. We all get to go out and just play ball together.”
Softball games were part of Lytle’s launch of the Ucluelet Sports and Social Club last year in an effort to bring activities to locals.
“We’ve got a lot of little projects on the go and a lot of people starting to help out,” he said.
“This is a great place. Everyone’s really nice and we need more things going on in town where we can come out and enjoy each other’s company.”