There were plenty of smiles at Abegweit First Nation on Thursday as the new baseball field was officially opened after a long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Junior Gould said the diamond has become a focal point of the community.
"It's just part of the mental wellness now, moving forward as a community. I think being outside, active, healthy living should be a priority in our First Nation community as well as all communities."
Work was done two years ago, with a $70,000 grant from the Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays. Then came COVID-19 — and the official opening was put on hold.
The foundation hosted a baseball clinic Thursday on the new diamond.
Clinics at the Scotchfort reserve will continue through the summer with funding and instructor training from Jays Care, said Rosie Dunn, special events co-ordinator at Abegweit First Nation.
"It's about building relations, it's about building self-confidence in yourself, learning some things about yourself that you didn't know and putting that into sports," she said.
Ball players in Bedeque also have a new field funded by Jays Care, which also officially opened on Thursday,