Canadian girls compete at Calgary fastpitch tournament
The game of softball was taken out of the Olympics in 2008, but it will be back when the Games are in Tokyo and Canada will be ready.
Published Sunday, August 18, 2019 3:24PM MDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:33PM MDT
The country’s best under-16 girls fastpitch players have been throwing lasers all week in the city.
Two dozen teams from across the country have been competing to be Canada’s best.
The tournament comes less than a year before the sport of softball makes a return n the worldwide stage - at the Olympics in Tokyo.
Softball was removed from the Olympic Games in 2008.
With it back on the cards, organizers here say it's a positive first step.
"As a sport, it does us really well to get the Olympics back in," said Ed Jackson, co-founder of the Calgary Adrenaline fast pitch softball club. "It’s just a visual [that] gives goals for people that want that extra level."
Although this year’s group of athletes are ineligible for next year’s national team, they could be selected in 2024.
"We are actually seeing a growth. Not a fast growth or a huge growth but we’re seeing the kids at the younger level wanting to come in, wanting to learn to pitch, wanting to play on the national team," said Jackie Dugger, director with Softball Canada. "When you go to these Canadian championships, that is one of the draws, is the kids are excited that this is something that they can attain."
This is the second time Calgary has hosted the Canadian championship at Shouldice Athletic Park.
In 2015, the Calgary Adrenaline also hosted teams from across the country.