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Batter Up: Cochrane Minor Ball registration nears

Registration for Cochrane Minor Ball's Little League, softball, Challenger and Baseball Alberta teams open Monday, Jan. 17.

It's almost open season for Cochrane Minor Ball registration.

The club is welcoming anyone aged 4-16 to sign up for its Little League teams when registration opens Monday, Jan. 17. Registration will open at the same time for the U11 to U19 softball teams. 

Michelle O'How, operations and administration coordinator for Cochrane Minor Ball, said she expects teams will reach 100 per cent capacity, or close to it, estimating 580 to 600 kids will enrol this year.

"We are really looking forward to it, I can't even tell you how much," said O'How. "My heart feels so good about this season and I can't wait to see all the kids out there."

The club's Challenger division for children with cognitive or physical disabilities, and Baseball Alberta U13 and U15 teams will also open for registration Monday. 

"Registering in softball or baseball is all about getting out in the community," O'How said. "Encouraging all players to have fun, first and foremost.

"We have everything from first time players to very competitive leagues here in town. We just want everyone to have the opportunity to get out and get into the community and do something they love or have an interest in learning."

Last year the club had about 75 per cent of their overall capacity filled on teams, and enrolment was much lower the year before, at the start of the pandemic.

O'How said she believes people are ready to get out and practice more safe sports with their kids this year.

"A lot of people feel that being outside is good for their kids, and for them too," she said. "This is a sport that is most often played outside, so we do anticipate to see that enrolment number rise a bit."

The club coordinator is hopeful they can maintain normality as much as possible without restrictions or setbacks throughout the season. 

Currently, Cochrane Minor Ball still has spots left in its U15, U17 and U19 seven-week softball training sessions. 

The 24 spots dedicated to baseball training were full before Christmas, said O'How. 

Those interested in learning more about the club or registering to play for Cochrane Minor Ball can do so on cochraneminorball.ca.