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“It really touches me a lot” – Alain Marchand

The Western Green Monster Tournament, which has just signed a five-year partnership with Groupe Vertdure Trois-Rivières, is back after a two-year absence. The prestigious tournament, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary, has accepted no less than a hundred teams this year. The organizing committee elected René Martin as honorary president, while Dan Magny and Alain Marchand will be honored for their longstanding involvement.

René Martin, newly elected as a municipal councillor, no longer needs an introduction in the world of Trois-Rivières baseball. He also rose through the ranks in the organization of the Aigles de Trois-Rivières, leading him to the presidency of the professional team playing in the Frontier League.

“First, know that the tournament is celebrating its 50th anniversary, but the green monster arrived 29 years ago. We made the decision to honor Dan Magny who created this version of the tournament, with the monster. Everyone knows the green monster across the province and we thank him for this contribution, “said Pierre Gélinas, long-time president of the Vertdure Green Monster Tournament. “It was essential when he worked for the city. Several tournaments fell when baseball was in decline, but not our tournament and I think a lot of that was due to the green monster. We also honor Alain Marchand who has been with us for a long time in the organization of the tournament. He got involved every year, every day, for several years. He then moved on, but remained involved in baseball. »

“I went back to see Alain when baseball was in trouble, and volunteers were scarcer, and I told him that I needed help for the 39th and 40th editions and he said yes right away. He also changed the dynamic of the tournament and the vision we had. It was he who told us that instead of raising money for the association, we should invest the money with the young people, give them gifts, so that they are happy to come to the tournament and that they benefit from it, even if it costs $5,000 in the end. Then a few years passed and Alain and Denise (his wife) came back, once again, to help with the restoration. As long as he’s there, Alain helps us on several levels during the tournament and he’s the positive guy who makes sure our volunteers have so much fun,” adds Mr. Gélinas.

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The two main interested parties will therefore each have a banner installed on the demarcation posts of the small and large lot.

” It touches me deeply! I have always worked for young people and everything I did was for them,” says Mr. Marchand. “I started volunteering at the age of 15 and I think back to all the young people we were able to get off the streets through sport, it’s wonderful. That was our goal. I did the Allo Bozo and I prepared the grounds. I’ve already slept in Aunt O’Keefe’s so we don’t get robbed at night and the next day I went home to take a shower and came back to prepare the grounds. I did some animation and dancing on the marker shack. I dressed up as Popa and Moman (from the TV show La Petite Vie), and all things unimaginable,” he adds.

“I did some coaching as well, and my son ended up coaching at the AA Women’s level. I finished working and I stayed at the tournament in the evening, always on a voluntary basis. Everyone was telling me how beautiful my pitches were and I was very proud of that. These are beautiful memories and I am happy with this honor. »

As for the event, around a hundred teams had registered since mid-February, including around fifty who had kept their 2020 registration.

“We even had to refuse about fifty teams and put them on the waiting list. Our problem is to find volunteers at all levels, if we wanted to play the week with more teams. We want to provide good service and maintain the quality of our tournament. If we place games on weekdays, but we have no volunteers, no music and no entertainment, it’s much less interesting and it becomes a regular season atmosphere,” says Mr. Gélinas.

We are really proud of our agreement with Groupe Vertdure Trois-Rivières, owned by Emmanuel Turcotte. It is a five-year pact and it is a renewable agreement. We’re going to have a new logo too, so we’re really happy. It brings a breath of fresh air! Mr. Turcotte is still very involved and he himself is a former baseball player. He is really involved for the young people of the region. »

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The tournament will begin on June 30 and end on July 17. The first weekend of activities is reserved for women’s baseball (22 teams) in categories A and B. The weekend of July 5 (28 teams) will feature category AA. As for the closing weekend, categories A (men/24 teams) and B (men/24 teams) will be in action.

“We are really happy to come back, especially for the young people. Last year, we had comments from people disappointed not to have been able to challenge the green monster. The U11 category is for two years, so both years were canceled because of the pandemic,” he explains.

On the other hand, as an Association, we had reached an agreement with the City of Trois-Rivières during the U11 provincial championships presented in September. We had our green monsters erected (on both fields) and we held the Quebec AA league series with the monster, the Mauricie series of categories A and B with the monster, in addition to the provincial championships. We made sure that the young people of the region were still able to challenge the monster,” he explains.

As for the special activities as part of the 50th anniversary, they will be unveiled in the coming days.

Of course we have several ideas in mind, some essential, but know that the money invested in the activities of the 50th, we will put them for our young people. Our tournament always has the same objective, which is that young people have as much fun as possible. We want them to leave with a smile, in victory, as in defeat, “he concludes.

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