- August 21, 2012 - 16:07
Ever since I moved to Newfoundland and Labrador four years ago, I notice that Softball Newfoundland and Labrador are not the only organization dealing with "Avalon Centrism" problems. In fact, Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador (SONL) has a similar problem. Currently, at least 70% of the province's 600 registered Special Olympians are from the Avalon Peninsula, particularly the Greater St. John's area clubs like St. John's, Mount Pearl, and Conception Bay South. To put it in perspective, Conception Bay South has almost 120 registered Special Olympians while similar size communities like Corner Brook has only 30. What I'm trying to say is that Softball is not the only sport that is too "Avalon Centric" as its happening to other sports and multi-sport organizations across the province, and that has to change.
- August 21, 2012 - 15:50
Since more than 1/2 of Newfoundland and Labrador's population lives in the Avalon Peninsula, majority of the teams will naturally come from this region. I think the reasons why Softball and Baseball are losing popularity outside the Avalon include these sports losing official Olympic status after the Beijing Olympics in 2008 no thanks to the Major League Baseball steroid scandals, lack of grassroots interest and development, lack of available Baseball fields outside the Avalon, short season, busy schedules, and lack of ability to establish Special Olympics Softball programs. If Softball Newfoundland and Labrador wants to grow the sport, they need a strong marketing campaign, get cities and towns to build more Baseball fields, encourage greater grassroots competition, have more Softball competitions outside the Avalon meaning being less "Avalon Centric", just to name a few.