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Smithers softball season in jeopardy due to lack of volunteers

Local league says a sucessful season is at risk without the needed volunteers
The Bulkley Valley Smithers softball season is in jeopardy because of a shortage of critical volunteers. (Submitted photo)

The Bulkley Valley Smithers Softball season is in jeopardy due to a lack of critical volunteers.

The organization says volunteers are in short supply meaning youth involved in the program may not have access to the experiences or support needed to be successful.

“We possibly can’t do a tournament, we can’t send kids to tournaments. Our age divisions, we don’t have enough coaches,” said volunteer and tournament coordinator, Breeann Doerksen.

“So, how that’s going to impact the players is that they may have to get lumped together with a group older or younger, and that affects their ability to play softball.”

Other leagues have already expressed interest in holding tournaments with Smithers, but that won’t be possible unless more people volunteer.

Doerksen said there seems to be a “community epidemic” of people not wanting to volunteer.

“I think if we want to see our kids succeed in these sports and these activities, we really need to start stepping up and giving up a little bit of our time to see these things be successful.”.

While BV Smithers Softball has recently filled enough positions to open registration, there are still many spaces that need community members to step up and help.

The open positions include vice president, treasurer, coaches, team parents, umpire coordinator, equipment coordinator and media and communications coordinator.

No prior experience is needed for these roles and the current team is eager to teach new volunteers all they need to know, Doerksen said.

“The group that we have is committed to helping get someone up to speed on the role and responsibilities. They just have to be committed to having a softball league in Smithers run successfully,” she said.

The league is currently in its third year of restoration, after starting up again in 2021 following a roughly three-year hiatus.

Doerksen said there were few players and volunteers at the start, but thanks to a core group of parents, they were able to get things back up and running.

Unfortunately, while the number of players is steadily increasing, volunteer numbers are not.

“We’ve lost quite a few of those core parents, volunteers, and we really are kind of a skeleton crew trying to get this season up and running and have a successful season,” said Doerksen.

“We went from 80 people in the first year to 140. And we’re anticipating and hoping for close to 180 kids this year. That’s a lot of kids that a group, a handful of people, is managing and we really just want to give them all the opportunities we can.”

To increase parent involvement this year, all registered members are now required to volunteer four hours per family during the season.

Registration is now open for this summer. Anyone interested in volunteering can send an email to or

About the Author: Jenna Legge

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