KAMLOOPS — The relationship that exists between the City of Kamloops and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc is a unique partnership. The two communities collaborate on a number of projects, including infrastructure, transit and fire protection. On Friday, recreation was added to that collaboration, as staff and elected officials from the city and from TTeS gathered at the ball diamond at Tyee Park to show off the hard work of both the band and the city in refreshing one of Kamloops’ oldest ball diamonds.
For years, Tyee Park was the gem of the Tk’emlups community. A gathering place for the community to come together and play a little softball.
“My Auntie always used to make bannock, and she’d come through and sell her bannock,” TTeS Councillor Jeannette Jules remembered. “After a while, everybody would just wait for her to come.”
But over the years the park was used less and less and fell into a state of disrepair.
“I watched this ball field deteriorate in front of us. Probably each one of you here today saw it.” Fred Seymour told those gathered at the park.
Through the partnership between Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and the City of Kamloops, the two communities came together last week to renovate the park and reinvigorate the space.
“It cost $15,000 from the city and $15,000 from the TTeS. $30,000 to get it back to playable condition, and we have another $15,000 a year contribution in terms of the ongoing maintenance of this facility,” Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian explained. “It’s a good investment with money that was earmarked for this kind of use, that’s supported by residents that live on the TTeS lands.”
And while they were there for the grand re-opening, they decided to play a little game of softball while they were at it.
For Jules, the hope is Tk’emlups te Secwepemc youth can carry on the tradition of playing softball at the park that has so much history within the community.
“The youth in our community, maybe they don’t play organized sports but they just want to play. They can come here and they can learn how to play,” Jules said. “It means a lot… all of our Elders that have gone on played here. For me, their spirits are here with us.”
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