GENERATION after generation have stepped up to the plate for Belmont Raiders, who are celebrating their 40th season.
Club registrar Robyn Vakatini said the milestone showed what an impact the club has had on families in the area.
“Forty is amazing; I’m gobsmacked that my own family has already been here for 10 years,” she said.
“My husband is president and I’ve been on the committee for eight years. It’s gone in a flash.”
Children, parents and grandparents converge on Forster Park to play and assist, with young people who started at the club coming back to coach or become accredited as umpires.
Tiny tots start in a modified version of the team sport, with coloured bases at age three, and the teeball teams opening at age 4 up to 13 years old.
Aaron Feast is the club’s senior coach after playing there as a child.
“It’s good that it’s still going; my kids are playing for the club now, they’re 11 and eight,” he said.
“It’s a safe team environment, that’s the biggest thing.
“It doesn’t matter your gender or your age.”
Ms Vakatini said club numbers varied each season, with about 100 to 150 kids playing for the Raiders.
She said the fast pace and inclusive nature of the sport was what kept children and families engaged.
“It helps that it’s at the same place every week,” Ms Vakatini said. “We have parents in this area who are fly-in, fly-out, there are a lot of single parents, and if they know they can go to one place where all the kids are playing, it’s a huge factor.”