OTTAWA – Who wouldn’t like to go to Cuba in February?
That is why 30 bantam age female baseball players jumped at the chance when they were notified that Baseball Canada was offering a chance to head down to the Caribbean country to play exhibition games with the Cuban Women’s National Team.
André Lachance, Manager of the Women’s National Team, through Baseball Canada organized the trip to Cuba for this group in February as a way of getting to know the future of his team.
“I’m looking at this trip as a chance to see the up and coming talent that we have across this country and use this as a development camp for future editions of the Women’s National Team,” says Lachance.
“With the busy summers, I do not have lots of opportunities to see bantam girls’ athletes in action, so this would give me the chance to look at 30 of them.”
With that, Lachance put the word out that he was looking for some new female players to go to Cuba and represent their country.
Two girls who have jumped on this opportunity are Melissa Pagé of Québec and Laura Whalen of Nova Scotia. In fact the response has been so positive that Lachance will be brining two teams to Cuba.
“I am extremely excited to represent Canada,” says Whalen. “I thought it was a big deal to represent Nova Scotia and I still think it is, but to represent Canada... wow. It's overwhelming and I'm really looking forward to this trip.”
For Pagé, she’s looking forward to seeing the different culture that is Cuba, both on and off the field.
“I’m eager to see how the girls in Cuba practice, if they have different techniques than we do and what their training programs are. I’m excited to take in a different way of doing things.”
Lachance hopes that with the success of this camp that it will become an annual event in the identification process of the Women’s National Team.
“At the moment, we don’t really have any camps that help evaluate bantam girls’ players. This can become an important tool to help with the scouting of new female players.”
The camp takes place from February 14-21 in Havana, Cuba where the teams will look to play six to seven exhibition games.