OTTAWA – On Saturday, May 30, Baseball Manitoba held it first ever “Girls Baseball Day” to help promote the girls’ game within the province and get more girls involved in baseball.
Following in Nova Scotia’s footsteps, which held its own “Girls Baseball Day” last summer, Manitoba held it festivities at Optimist Park in Winnipeg. A total of 77 girls registered to attend the event from ages 5 to 15.
They also had special guests in the form of Women’s National Team members Kate Psota and Melissa Armstrong to help out as clinicians.
“We wanted to show them that there are women playing and that there is an opportunity for young girls to develop and get better and play at a higher level,” says Armstrong in a CBC interview.
“They needed to know that there are girls out there doing it and that it’s ok to be different and stick with baseball. You don’t need to switch to softball,” adds Psota.
And those in attendance did not drop the ball on the message being passed.
“Melissa and Kate are wonderful ambassadors for the sport of Women’s Baseball,” says Sherri Sharpe, Chair of the Baseball Manitoba Girls Baseball Committee. “They were extremely patient with all the girls and connected with each one of them.”
The Baseball Canada Girls Committee came up with the slogan “You Wish You Could Throw Like a Girl” to help rid of the stigma attached to girls playing baseball and Baseball Manitoba president Ken Sharpe sees the similarities with other sports in the past.
“I feel like what hockey must’ve felt like 20 years ago when a few girls were playing hockey and started to get together. And girls network so well, that once these girls find out the sport is out there, they’re going to play.”
The day was comprised of splitting the girls into groups for seven different skills stations, with each group rotating to each station. At the end of the skills sessions, the girls gathered for a question and answer period with Psota and Armstrong.
“When asked what her fondest memories of baseball were, Kate answered that one of them was hitting her first out of the park home run from the diamond right next to where we were standing,” says Mrs. Sharpe.
“The girls had so many live questions that we finally had to interrupt so that we could wrap up the day with some prize draws,” she added.
The one constant on this day was that no matter your skill level, if you’re a girl, there is a place for you on the baseball diamond.
If you are interested in learning more about female baseball, please contact your local provincial association.