Press Release – Mike Chewpoy, Victoria Mariners
August 25, 2018 Victoria, BC – This year’s Zack Downey tournament will be hosted by the Victoria Mariners for the 5th consecutive year at Layritz Park, September 7-9th. We will see Premier and Bantam teams from Vancouver Island and the mainland join us for three days of fall baseball.
A new addition to this years tournament is an Alumni Game on Thursday evening, September 6. This game will be played and attended by many alumni Mariners and family members who were teammates and friends of Zack.
On Sunday, May 25, 2014, Zack succumbed to his battle with cancer. Just how important he was to the baseball community was very evident, when the team, just hours later, rallied and played their hearts out for Zack. A game that was attended by his sister, Brooklyn and girlfriend, Emily wearing Zacks baseball jersey. As people gathered on that day at Henderson Park it became clear that for many connected to Zack, the baseball park was the place they wanted to be. That feeling grows every September.
Like many many others, I feel blessed to have known Zack and to have been part of his life and part of his fight. He never gave up, while struggling with pain, he still came to our Mariner’s game dressed in his Uni, supporting his team:his friends. He came to school when he could and was happy to be there: attending class, shooting hoops, happy to be part of school-life with so many friends and his girlfriend, Emily who Zack described as “Perfect.” He modelled his belief that everyday is for living and everyday is a gift.
Every September when the Zack Downey Memorial tournament is played, I personally believe that the best part of Zack is with us. I believe that Zack is here encouraging all players just as he did when he was here with his teammates. But whatever you believe, Zack is with us. We see glimmers of Zack in Brooklyn’s beautiful smile and when we look at Tania and Wayne we see a big part of his personality reflected in them: all part of the loving years they spent together.
To the teams in this years Zack Downey Tournament and to you in the Baseball Community and beyond, LISTEN for that heavenly message from Zack, he’ll get it out. You can hear it every September here at Layritz or when a worthy athlete receives one of several awards or bursaries in Zack’s name. Perhaps you’ll simply hear it in the wind, the crack of a bat… or in the cheer of his team…ZACK!
Come out to Layritz Park, buy a burger and support a great cause. Proceeds from the weekend go towards supporting The Zack Downey Memorial Scholarship. This award is given annually to a graduation student at Lambrick Park Secondary.
Thanks everyone, we look forward to an excellent weekend of ball in honor of our teammate and friend, Zack Downey.