by Jim Swanson
March 6, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria HarbourCats are pleased to announce the establishment of a Community Advisory Committee.
Five well-known members of the Victoria sports and business community have been asked to provide valuable input into community engagement on all levels, giving the WCL team a fresh perspective going into the second season of HarbourCats baseball and beyond. John McLean, President of the HarbourCats, and General Manager Jim Swanson will meet periodically with the five, and are pleased to be able to add this resource following the successful inaugural season.
“We had a strong first year, but we don’t want to rest on that – we want to get better year-to-year at providing top sports entertainment for Victoria, affordable for families,” said McLean, who brought baseball back to the Capital District when he signed leases adding up to nine years at Royal Athletic Park. “It’s the old adage that two heads are better than one, and adding these outstanding, community-minded people will help us move forward and improve. They all bring a great perspective and provide valuable feedback with what they are sensing from the community.”
The five people provide a broad cross-section of involvement, and a vast array of backgrounds and experience.
JOHN WILSON: CEO/Owner, Wilson’s Transportation – Needs no introduction, heavily involved in both the local business and sports community.
SUE BROWN: Camosun College – Intern placement and educational consultant, particularly with the sports management program at Camosun.
BOB McKENZIE: Former Publisher, Victoria Times-Colonist – A sports enthusiast and veteran of media management and business operations.
TREVOR STRANDLUND: Owner, Pacific Rim Exteriors – Former professional left-handed pitcher, now a successful operator in the competitive home building and renovation industry on the Island.
FRASER CAMPBELL: Commercial real estate agent – President of Greater Victoria Baseball Association, member of B.C. Minor Baseball Association board, well-known in Victoria business community.
“It is exciting that so many people are pleased with the success of the HarbourCats, but it’s more exciting that everyone sees potential to grow further,” said McLean. “There is nothing better than listening to our fans, and to our partners in every area – including our sponsors, and the City of Victoria. Their observations and ideas, the feedback, it is crucial.”
About the West Coast League
The West Coast League features a competitive level of play and recruits players from high-calibre baseball programs at colleges and universities across North America. With the addition of the Yakima Valley Pippins, the WCL has 12 teams in three divisions for the 2014 season, with franchises located in B.C., Washington and Oregon. The Victoria HarbourCats are in the West Division with the Bellingham Bells, Kitsap BlueJackets of Bremerton, Wash., and Cowlitz Black Bears of Kelso/Longview, Wash. The 54-game regular season starts June 6 and runs through August 10, with playoffs to follow. The home-opener for the HarbourCats in 2014 is Tuesday, June 10, against the Cowlitz Black Bears, at Royal Athletic Park. The HarbourCats will play exhibition games on June 5 (vs. BCPBL Victoria Eagles/Mariners) and June 22 (in Duncan, vs. PIL Langley Blaze).