Volunteers bring sparkle back to the diamonds
"LET'S play ball!"
That was the catchcry on Saturday after Far North Coast baseball and softball volunteers had put in a combined 700 hours over the past two weekends to resurrect the Albert Park fields in Lismore, bringing the complex back to life after they were devastated by the flood.
More than 60 volunteers donned their gumboots and gloves again on Saturday for the clean-up.
They included some former players who now live in Brisbane and travelled down to help.
The fields were severely damaged by the flood two weeks ago - the worst in 50 years.
Softball managed to complete its season the week before the flood hit.
Local baseball was due to start on April 1 and now, thanks to the volunteers, three of the four fields will be playable this Saturday.
Some games may be transferred to Casino or Ballina until Ground 4 is available.
The debris has been removed and the damaged fences have either been stood back into place or removed and replaced with temporary fencing until a more permanent fence can be erected.
Baseball Australia visited the region last week and remains committed to still holding the Little League national tournaments in May and June, boosting the local economy.
Among all the damage, one positive feature of the flood is that the fields have been top-dressed by the amount of silt left behind.
With continued fine weather, Albert Park should be well on the road to full recovery as the local competition swings into gear and preparations continue for the Little League tournaments.