Rhianna Pettapiece is more than happy to give back to the budding young baseball players of Chemainus.
After all, she was once one of them, receiving support from coaches and sponsors from so many on her way to great baseball success.
Tadpole players are fortunate to have the expertise of Pettapiece to rely on when learning the intricacies of the game.
“I grew up playing Chemainus and the Chemainus Baseball Club has always helped me,” she said. “I’m happy to help out and come back next year, regardless of age group.”
The 2011 Chemainus High School graduate, who turns 29 later this year, has always been a natural athletic talent but has worked hard to become a better baseball player.
Helping Chemainus’ two tadpole teams – the Rockets and Raptors – in the Forrest Memorial Tournament at Chemainus Ball Park and Ladysmith got Pettapiece thinking.
“It was their big end-of-season tournament,” she noted. “It kind of ends with their school year.”
Despite some occasional bad weather over the weekend of the tournament, “it worked out really, really well,” added Pettapiece.
The Chemainus & District Baseball Association is understandably grateful for all that Pettapiece has done for children.
“His volunteerism and dedication to helping our young players this year has been incredible,” noted Lara White, Association Secretary. “She gives back to her local community and is an inspiration to all of us parent volunteers.”
“I remember playing on this pitch when I was little,” recalls Pettapiece. “It’s funny to look back, it always seemed so serious and competitive.”
Baseball has always been a big part of her life, unlike most girls who get into softball.
Pettapiece actually moved to Vancouver in 2013 for her job, but returned to the island at the start of the COVID era in 2020 and now lives in Ladysmith, working for Bennett Land Surveying.
Her own baseball abilities really took off in high school, starting with an appearance on Team BC at the women’s bantam level in 9th grade. She played on Ladysmith’s Midget AAA Mustangs in grade 11 and trained and played with the Junior Pirates Premier. Grade 12 league team.
Pettapiece then moved to Victoria until 2013, where he played on a men’s team. She was a member of the women’s team for Team BC several times and played on different men’s and women’s teams in the Lower Mainland over the years.
After limited to no play for the past two COVID seasons, Pettapiece played with the Coal Miners Baseball League Drillers at Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo as weather permitted.
She advises the children to keep working because it takes a lot of practice to become proficient in any sport.
“At the start of the year, a lot of kids didn’t want to be near the ball, let alone try to kick it or catch it.”
Most importantly, Pettapiece added, “they want to be there and they want to learn. They are everywhere.