Mayor Richard Stewart had the honour of hurling the ceremonial first pitch of the 2023 Coquitlam softball season.
And, according to the association, his "perfect strike" was the perfect start to a new year of possibilities for the organization.
Local athletes participated in a mini-tournament and exhibition game last Saturday (April 1) to shake the rust off the bats at the Coquitlam Minor Softball Association's (CMSA) celebration event.
Hundreds of parents, families and friends cheered proudly while watching players on the Mundy Park field. CeeCee, the CMSA's coyote mascot, was also on hand to provide extra motivation.
"It was great to see so many people come out and enjoy the beautiful weather and fantastic softball action," said CMSA president Jennifer McCulloch, noting she was thrilled to see so many people connect as a community.
"We are excited for another exciting season of softball in Coquitlam and look forward to seeing these athletes continue to grow and develop their skills."
The day started with a pancake breakfast by the Coquitlam Kinsmen Club, followed by a banner-making competition.
After the singing of "O Canada" and a brief speech, Stewart then showed off his arm at the mound with a pitch to Coquitlam Classics catcher Kira Carson.
A four-team mini-tourmanent was held for players on the under-nine squads, while an exhibition match between the '08 U15B and '09 U15B Classics showcased skill and athleticism.
The CMSA believes this has set "the tone for an exciting season of softball."
Last year, the Classics won a silver medal at the B.C. U13B softball championships — the only Coquitlam program to bring home a piece of hardware from any provincial tournament.
For more information, or to possibly get involved with a team, you can visit the Coquitlam Minor Softball Association's website.