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Tsiigehtchc’s baseball diamond mid-winter. The diamond is in serous need of repair and the community is reaching out to the Toronto Blue Jay’s Field of Dreams program to construct a modern facility for the Mackenzie and Beaufort Deltas.
(photo courtesy of Brian Smith)

Tsiigehtchic’s aging baseball diamond is in need of a serious overhaul and is reaching out to Canada’s premier team for assistance in repairing it.

Part of the Toronto Blue Jay’s public outreach program, the Jays Care Foundation ‘Field of Dreams’ program assists communities in funding new sports field projects to help build community and give more opportunities to youth.

“Our baseball field is in horrible shape. There’s ruts, grooves and big rocks everywhere. With a fly ball, you’re taking your life in your hands, ” said economic development officer Brian Smith. “We were looking at grading the field and making it safer, but I decided to look at turf prices just to see.

“The first thing I punch in is that the Blue Jays have started a project in Pond Inlet. So I did the initial application and we made it to the short list.”

Noting the Jays have been to every part of Canada except the Northwest Territories, Smith said Tsiigehtchic was in a unique opportunity to fill a big hole in the map.

A map of communities the Toronto Blue Jays have built baseball diamonds for. Tsiigehtchic economic development officer Brian Smith said he’s hoping to fill the noticeable hole in the N.W.T. section of the map.

A new field would be a game changer for the community, he noted and would be in use all year round, giving people a place to play soccer, to snowshoe, ski or even practice biathlon.

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Smith added the field would be a benefit to the Beaufort at large, since local baseball tournaments dot the summer landscape and a modern facility would be an excellent resource for people training in all sorts of sports, summer or winter.

To get to the next level, Smith said he needs photos, stories,  letters of support, from residents of the importance of the field to their community and lives. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31.

“Basically, what the Blue Jays want is to see Tsiigehtchic’s personality and everything that goes on in the community. They want the project to be used for more than just baseball,” he said. “It would be a safer field for the school.

“So, I’m hoping that through the testimonials, pictures, videos and outreach from the community that we will be able to impress on the Blue Jays this would be a perfect candidate for them.”

If all goes according to plan and the Jays take the worm, Smith said work on the field could begin as early as summer.

Along with the construction could come a visit from a few players too.

“They will send a couple of guys in, teach us how to do the install and it would last for years,” said Smith. “They always throw a Blue Jay at you. It’s great work, but it looks good on them too. Both sides win.”

Smith said anyone interested in helping out could contact him at edo@tsiigehtchic.ca

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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