Members of the Kelowna Heat will have a chance to showcase their skills at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championships next month in Surrey.
The local girls’ fastball squad will be among 21 teams competing in the U16 B division from July 11 to 14 in one of the world’s largest tournaments of its kind.
“It’s a chance to see a level of ball that the girls haven’t seen consistently,” said Heat manager Kevin Fedorak. “It’s a development opportunity for them, and just get used to that level of competition. It should be a great experience for our team.”
Coached by Doug Fisher, the Heat will be joined in their category by other teams from B.C., as well as from Washington and Utah.
In addition to playing some high calibre ball, the Kelowna girls will have a chance to watch best women’s players in the world, including national teams from Canada, the USA, Japan and Mexico.
The event also draws hundreds of scouts from across North America who are looking for young prospects.
“There’s a group of girls who would ultimately love to get scholarships, and with coaches there from all across the nation, they’re going to get some good exposure,” said Fedorak. “It will be a good environment for the girls to see how they handle the attention of such a big event.”
The Heat have already had a successful season, winning medals at three tournaments including a gold in South Delta and a silver in Kelowna.
Fedorak says if the Heat play to their potential, then a medal is a realistic goal in Surrey.
Because of their busy schedule, including the Canadian Open, Kelowna has opted out of competing at this year’s provincial U16 B championship.
There are 13 players on the Heat team from the Interior—nine from Kelowna, two from Sicamous and one each from Armstrong and Vernon.