Top young softball players from Western Canada in Kelowna for tournament

City to host the under-16 Western Canadian Softball Championships this week

Kelowna will host the under-16 Western Canadian Softball Championships for the first time this week.

The tournament, scheduled to run Aug. 9 to 12 at High Noon Park on Old Vernon Road near Kelowna’s airport, will feature nine girls’ teams and seven boys’ teams including many of the the top young softball players in the four Western Canadian provinces.

B.C will be represented by the Kelowna Heat as the hosts, as well as teams from View Royal on Vancouver Island and Cloverdale in the Fraser Valley.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Ramon Lawrence, president of Kelowna Minor Fastball. He estimated as many as 240 players will take part in the tournament.

The majority of the players from the U16 Kelowna Heat team recently played for the Thompson-Okanagan team in the B.C. Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island and came away with the silver medal.

This weekend they’ll go for gold against talented opponents from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Opening ceremonies for the tournament will run from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at High Noon Park, 4720 Old Vernon Road. Admission to the tournament is free.

Preliminary round games will run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, with a break for the opening ceremony. On Friday, games will go from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday games will be played during the day, with the playoffs starting at 7 p.m.

The final four teams will play off on Sunday.

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