A group of 13-year-old and 14-year-old girls from Winnipeg have made history by taking gold in a national softball championship.
Smitty’s Terminators were the first Manitoba team to capture gold in the U14 Canadian Fastpitch Championships.
“The girls put in so much time and effort and they sacrificed a lot to play,” said head coach Holly Kitchen.
The girls travelled all the way to White Rock, B.C. for the competition, securing gold on Sunday.
“The girls were ecstatic,” she said. “Some were crying, laughing, happy. It was just a very joyful moment.”
The honour usually goes to teams in Ontario and British Columbia who typically play up to 40 more games than the Manitoba team, said Kitchen.
Kitchen added Manitoba teams are often at a disadvantage because poor weather limits the playing season, and they’re not as well as funded as teams from other provinces.
“They can travel more to the states, and they have indoor facilities,” she said. “For us to compete with them and then to beat them is pretty amazing.”
The team travels all over Canada and the United States for games and practises year-round, with intensive training over the summer months.
Kitchen said the girls had only three days off in July.
That made Sunday’s win all the more sweet, said Kitchen.
“I can’t even really put it into words, but it’s just the best feeling as a coach seeing them be successful,” she said.