Baseball players in Kelowna won’t have to alter their off-season training regimen during the winter months anymore.
The new Yardhouse indoor baseball facility will be equipped with batting and pitching practice equipment, designed to bring together all the outdoor and indoor aspects of baseball.
“With a lot of baseball programs, we found that we’re at three different venues typically in a week,” said Yardhouse general manager Derek McPherson.
“You hit in one place, you do your gym work in another, and you throw in another; it’s a one-stop shop for all that stuff.”
McPherson said that there has been a lot of interest from Kelowna baseball organizations to book out time in the facility, which opens April 8.
The Yardhouse includes gym equipment, batting cages for both pros and amateurs and pitching mounds, that will be available for use to all Kelowna baseball team players along with groups who just want to come out and hit some balls.
“We’ve got the ability to have guys doing something the entire practice, where at a lot of indoor facilities that’s a lot tougher to do because space is limited,” he said.
“It allows us to facilitate more kids at one time, which I think is really appealing to the kids and to parents to have it all in one spot. Putting it all under one roof makes a lot of sense.”
McPherson, who coaches the Kelowna Sun Devils college prep team and has been involved with Kelowna baseball since growing up in Vernon, said that the tight-knit community of Kelowna baseball will continue to grow and attract players with year-round baseball practice available.
Yardhouse will offer memberships to Kelowna baseball organizations, and will provide the opportunity for young baseball players to rub shoulders with older players who’re playing in college or at a professional level.
“If we can get kids in here, and keep them engaged, and put them through camps, and lessons, then I find with the with the technology that we have, we can be engaging, fun and competitive,” said McPherson.
“Yardhouse is a place that we expect will be busy for kids, especially come fall and winter.”
The main interest for Yardhouse will be from local Kelowna baseball players and teams, but with programs throughout the Okanagan including West Kelowna and Penticton, the amount of interested teams in Yardhouse’s facilities will grow as baseball seasons begin to start back up for all levels of leagues including softball, McPherson says.
“(Kelowna) is a town that’s unique because it has a college program, it has a premier program, it has the biggest association outside of the Lower Mainland in the province. There’s a lot of quantity and a lot of kids, and you can concentrate a lot of baseball in one day here.”
Not just for baseball, Yardhouse also comes with an upstairs lounge area where kids and students can do homework after school, hang with friends and other players while studying the sport, or get a work out in—a sort of baseball player day-spa.
But it’s not exclusive, friends and groups are welcome to Yardhouse to hit “dingers” and check out the fun technology Yardhouse has including a HitTrax machine that will tell hitters if they can hit a home-run in any MLB stadium from the Blue Jays’ Rogers Centre to the legendary Wrigley Field.
Yardhouse is located on Spedding Court off Baron Road in Kelowna.
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