THE PITCHING & BATTING CENTRE of the Ghajnsielem Redcoats saw its first action last week as Taylor Ann Edwards, former Division 1 College softball pitcher, who is currently in Ghajnsielem conducted daily pitching practice sessions for the softball players of the Club. The University of Illinois graduate came to Gozo specifically to introduce pitching to the U12 softball players of the Club and to work with the U16 and the senior softball pitchers as well. She did a tremendous job during her short stay here with the girls showing significant improvement.

This facility that is exclusively dedicated to softball and baseball practice sessions became a reality over the past few weeks thanks to the Promotion of Sports Initiatives and Facilities Scheme 2021 of the Ministry for Gozo. The Ghajnsielem Redcoats applied for, and were granted funding to transform some 210 square meters of land, right behind the football ground, into a practice facility for the Club. With the approval and support of the Committee of the Ghajnsielem Football Club the Redcoats set out to make plans to clear up the area and to render it safe and secure.

The area was in a such a dilapidated state that clearing it represented a great challenge for the Club. There was a lot of rubble and the ground needed to be levelled. A wall that was demolished last year had to be rebuilt, and parts of the perimeter of the area required fencing. In order to increase the area available for the facility a temporary structure also had to be rearranged to create more space. If it was not for the help of the Ghajnsielem Local Council, it would have been impossible for the Club with its limited resources to do the work that was required. With the assistance of the CMU, the employees of the Ghajnsielem Local Council managed to finish all the work that was necessary within a few weeks.

The artificial turf was then laid down and the structure that was required to hold the netting for the two batting cages was set up. With the financial support of the MGOZ Promotion of Sports Initiatives and Facilities Scheme 2021 the club also purchased state-of-the-art equipment that will assist the coaching staff of the Club during their pitching and batting practice sessions. A speed radar along with an electronic counter for balls and strikes are expected to make the practice sessions more challenging and enjoyable for the players.

The facility will be formally inaugurated next month.

The Ghajnsielem Redcoats would like to thank Minister for Gozo, Hon Clint Camilleri, Permanent Secretary Mr John Borg and Director Ms Joyce Farrugia, along with their staff for their continuous support. Ghajnsielem Mayor, Mr Kevin Cauchi, Vice Mayor Mr Franco Ciangura and the rest of the Local Council along with their very dedicated staff did their very utmost to ensure that the facility was rendered safe and secure for the Club in the shortest time possible. Ghajnsielem Football Club President Mr Jonathan Borg, Secretary Mr Jason Vella and the members of their committee made the area available for the use of the Club. Thank you!