Sports

Surrey selected to represent Canada in softball bid

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Softball Canada has announced that the Canadian Open Fastpitch Society, located in Surrey, has been awarded the honour of representing Canada as the Canadian bid city for the 2016 ISF Women’s World Championship.

The bid will go forward to the International Softball Federation (ISF) Congress scheduled for October 2013 in Cartagena, Colombia. At that time, the full membership of the ISF will vote on the awarding of the host city.

This event would be the first world championship ever hosted in the City of Surrey, and the first fastpitch world championship ever to be held in B.C.

“We’re excited and well-prepared to host the softball world championship, as we have a long history of  hosting successful large-scale sporting events in Surrey,” said Mayor Dianne Watts.  “This event would help us advance softball in our community, provide a unique opportunity to highlight our tremendous athletes, and provide significant economic benefits to Surrey.”

Surrey hosts annually the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship, the largest international softball tournament in Canada and the third largest in the world.  The event brings 80-100 teams and 1,300 athletes to the city.

The Canadian Open Fastpitch Society is made up of volunteers who have a long history of hosting successful major softball events dating back to the early 1990s. They currently operate the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship, which is slated to run from July 12 to 22, 2013. This event features International Women’s Teams and Senior Women’s Club Teams, as well as Futures U19 and Showcase 16U teams.

“Softball Canada is very pleased to be going forward with this bid,” said Softball Canada CEO Hugh Mitchener. “We will be working with a very experienced organizing committee in a city which is well-renowned in the softball world for hosting major international softball tournaments, which speaks volumes to the talents and abilities of this volunteer organization. Many of the teams that will be participating are familiar with the City of Surrey as a result of previous trips. There is a very positive feeling around this bid.”

Greg Timm, chairman of the Canadian Open Fastpitch Society, calls the nomination an honour.

"It is a tremendous privilege to represent Canada as the bid city for this important international event," Timm said. "As an organization we are known worldwide for hosting superior events, thanks to the dedicated group of over 400 individuals from throughout the community who volunteer annually at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship. Our vision is to run the best softball World Championship ever run in the history of ISF World Championships. This will help us to reach our goal of promoting and encouraging young athletes from our country to become involved in this sport by showcasing the world’s elite as well as by providing a spotlight on the up and coming stars of tomorrow. ”

The 2016 event will be the first time since 1994 that the Women’s World Championships has been operated as an Open Championship. Previously, the event has been a qualified tournament with participation capped at 16 teams.

Softball Canada has previously hosted Women’s World Championships in St. John’s, Newfoundland (1994), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (2002), and Whitehorse, Yukon (2012). Canada finished fourth at the World Championship this past July in Whitehorse. ISF World Championships are on a two-year cycle. The next Women’s World Championship will be held in Haarlem, Netherlands in 2014.

New Sports Tourism Strategy unveiled

On Monday, the City of Surrey unveiled a new Sport Tourism Strategy, designed to attract new sporting events to the city.  For more information, visit: http://www.surrey.ca/files/Sport_Tourism_Plan__web.pdf

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