National teams highlight Canada Cup tourney, starting Friday in South Surrey

Annual women’s fastpitch tournament set for July 13-22

Nearly 100 teams are set to walk through the gates at Softball City for the Canada Cup starting Friday (July 13), as tournament organizers and fastpitch enthusiasts bask in the glow provided by the sport’s renewed Olympic participation.

In total, 92 teams will take part in the 10-day tournament, including nine teams in the women’s international division. Games will also be played at Cloverdale Athletic Park and South Surrey’s Sunnyside Park.

Since women’s softball was reinstated as an Olympic sport last August, there has been “all kinds of new interest” in both the Canada Cup and the sport as a whole, according to Canada Cup tournament chair Greg Timm.

“The lifeblood of a sport at this level is Olympic team funding. For Canada, and every other country, that was much reduced during the period of time softball was out (as an Olympic sport),” he said.

Among the nine squads in the international group, two will be from Canada – the women’s national team, plus a development squad. Other countries sending national teams include New Zealand, South Korea, China and the Czech Republic. The group will be rounded out by the White Rock Renegades’ senior women’s team, top U.S. club team Triple Crown – based out of Colorado – as well as Edmonton’s Calahoo Erins, which, like the Renegades, is one of Canada’s top programs.

While some of the Canada Cup’s usual suspects – Japan and Australia, among others – won’t be making the trip this year, Timm said it has more to do with scheduling issues than anything else. The women’s world championships, which Surrey hosted in 2016, are to be held in Japan just two weeks after the conclusion of the South Surrey tournament, so some teams have chosen to limit travel in preparation in advance of that tournament.

As well, at the same time, there is a competing tournament in Europe – “We were able to draw the Czech Republic out of that,” Timm said – as well as the Central American Games, which have kept teams from making the trip north.

“It’s a busy year,” Timm said.

He predicted that in future years, renewed funding in the sport would result in many international teams making trips to compete at the Canada Cup.

“There are bigger days ahead for us,” he said.

Local fans will still get the opportunity to cheer for Canada’s national team, which this summer will feature a familiar face – former White Rock Renegade pitcher Danielle Lawrie-Locke.

Lawrie-Locke, who now lives in the Seattle area, came out of retirement this year to return to the national team fold, with world championships – and in 2020, the Olympics – on the calendar.

“We’re excited to see her return for the first time in probably eight years,” Timm said. “I know she’s been training extremely hard to prepare.”

With world championships coming on the heels of the South Surrey event, Timm expects Canada to be at the top of their game.

“They’ll come in as buffed up as they can be,” he said.

“With the sport back (in the Olympics), these players are pretty high profile now – there’s a lot of eyeballs on them.

“Canada is currently ranked third in the world, and you name me a team sport, other than hockey, where Canada is ranked so high. We’re really excited to see them here.”

For more on the Canada Cup, visit

Just Posted

Surrey-based group maps places to find affordable food

Surrey and White Rock Food Coalition targets food security

Youth and seniors learn from each other

Seniors Health Network launches intergenerational program in White Rock

Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society raises $8,000

Donations collected at Christmas event last week

Realtor blanket drive collects 360 bags of clothing

Annual event helps South Surrey and White Rock residents in need

VIDEO: Hundreds of volunteers collect, wrap toys in Surrey at Sikh elementary school

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Sikh Academy partner together on annual toy drive

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

VIDEO: Giants head into holidays with a win at home

Vancouver G-Men don’t play next until Dec. 28, after 2-1 victory over Prince George Sunday.

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Most Read