It took more than 15 years before Shawinigan again hosted a smaller baseball tournament. The 13U Mauricie Toyota Baseball Tournament in Shawinigan has just been launched at Réal-Dufresne Park. Despite a few raindrops, the initial match was held on Thursday night. The competition, which lasts until August 1, brings together 16 teams, 7 of which come from outside the Mauricie region.
“The two matches yesterday [mercredi] was erected. There were parts that ended very tight […]. Young people were very persistent in this pandemic […]. It’s fun to see that children are children. They have fun and they have a beautiful smile, ”explains the organizer, Jean-François Daneault.
This is the only tournament planned this year in Mauricie. There were many teams that wanted to participate, and a waiting list was even created. “We could have completed two tournaments with 16 teams.”
Mr. Daneault believes that the enthusiasm can be explained by the fact that Baseball Quebec allowed teams to only participate in one tournament this year. Also note that no tournament took place last year.
Opportunities to compete against teams other than those in your home region are rare. It is for this reason that clubs from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Repentigny, Charlesbourg, Victoriaville and Jonquière jumped at the opportunity. Obviously, the arrival of all these teams will benefit the city and its businesses, which will benefit from interesting economic benefits.
“Shawinigan, baseball city”
One of Jean-François Daneault’s wishes when he left elite junior baseball was to bring a Quebec Major League Baseball team back to Shawinigan, which has been achieved. His second wish was to revive the late Shawinigan minor baseball tournament. “It’s a tournament [auquel] I also participated and that I won twice, emphasizes the man from the Saint-Georges-de-Champlain area.
“I like to give back to baseball. I think it’s a beautiful life school. It is important for me to give back to young people. ”
To make the project work, Mr. Daneault was able to rely on the cooperation of several people, including the honorary president, Luc Bellemare. Mr. Bellemare made his minor baseball in Shawinigan and is now an RDS host. “We could not find better than Luc Bellemare.”
It was Mr. Bellemare who officially started the tournament on Thursday with a protocol course. The latter will remain in Shawinigan until the end of the tournament. He will be the announcer of the matches.
Reconnect with a tradition
“It is certain that there will be a second edition”, confides the organizer. Next year, the tournament may gain momentum. This summer, the goal was to build the solid foundation for an event that will last.
The 13U Mauricie Toyota Shawinigan Baseball Tournament brings together nearly 180 players ages 12 to 13. A total of 30 games are presented over five days. Each team is guaranteed to play at least three matches. The final in category B will take place on Sunday at 14.00 and the one in category A at 16.00.
500 people can be accommodated on each of the properties of Réal-Dufresne Park in Shawinigan-Sud. Respect for family bubbles and physical distancing is mandatory. The organization follows the same health plan as the resident big baseball team, Cascades.