Abbotsford players heading to Cuba

Eight local fast pitch players on goodwill tour

A group of eight Abbotsford fast pitch players are part of a team heading to Cuba on a goodwill tour starting on Sunday. They return on Feb. 12.

A group of eight Abbotsford fast pitch players are part of a team heading to Cuba on a goodwill tour starting on Sunday. They return on Feb. 12.

A group of Abbotsford fast pitch players are set to take part in a unique tour in Cuba starting on Sunday.

Members of the Abbotsford Outlaws 2002 B fast pitch team, along with players from Richmond, Bellingham and Newfoundland, are heading to the Latin American country as part of a Canada-Cuba Goodwill Tour.

During the week-long tour the girls will participate in a clinic with teams from Cuba, along with members of the National Cuban Women’s team, and will play multiple games in various villages within the province of Matanzas Cuba.

They will also visit a hospital, homes and local schools where they will bring school supplies as well as new and used softball equipment to the children.

The opportunity to travel to Cuba came about after Abbotsford native Caitlyn Klassen had a chance to be the Cuban National team’s bat girl the past two summers at the Canadian Open Fastball Tournament and Women’s Worlds Fastball Tournament in Surrey.

She formed a friendship with some of the players and kept in contact with them through email and Facebook. That bond led to more information about the baseball goodwill tours in Cuba.

The team is composed of Abbotsford residents Klassen, Madi Deck, Ella Syroid, Alicia Newman, Morgen Likeness, Keagan McLeod, Anna Ryann, Jordyn Weisbeck, and Meaghan Klassen (bat girl).

The head coach of the team is George Goddard and the team manager is Carmel Klassen.

“Many athletes dream of representing Canada one day in the sport they love to play. Our girls have this wonderful opportunity to represent Canada on the softball diamonds in Cuba,” Goddard stated. “This experience will provide them an opportunity to experience a culture and country that is unique and distinct from their own, where the citizens do not have the same luxuries that we are so fortunate to have in Canada.”

For more, visit facebook.com/cubasoftball.