No, it’s not ball weather, but the Palmerston Marlins Ladies Softball Association teams start their indoor training in January.
The Marlins are entering their 24th season and will field five provincial teams with Squirt, Novice, Bantam, Midget and Intermediate teams wearing their jerseys.
The Marlins have been regulars at the Eastern Canadian Championships for over a decade bringing home multiple medals and awards and in the last five seasons have brought home two Canadian championships.
To compete with city teams from areas like Mississauga, Waterloo and Windsor, the local all-girls ball club starts training their athletes 14 weeks before the season begins. The four younger teams hit the gym floor this week with teams training four to five hours a week until the weather is good enough to get on the diamonds in May.
Along with successful teams come growing team budgets. The Bantam team is hosting its first fundraiser at the Palmerston arena hall on Jan. 17 from 1:30 to 4pm. Psychic medium Shannon Flynn will be on hand “to connect people with loved ones who have passed on.” Her website suggests her messages can offer closure, direction or messages regarding issues in one’s life.
Marlins chair Kelly Culp, also coach of the Bantam team, stated, “the 2016 team that I have this year is for the most part the same team that won a silver medal at nationals in 2014. I know our strengths and weakness and we want to up our game in the offense area and we have hired a hitting coach to assist us. This was a very expensive venture for the Marlins Bantam team and they had to find a way to fund this added expense.”
Culp said, “thinking outside the box,” the team decided not to sell chocolate bars or chicken to raise funds, but to invite the community to an event.
“If anything, it will be entertaining” she stated.
The event will be limited to the first 100 tickets sold. Tickets can be purchased for $20 by calling Culp at 519-638-5341.