Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for August 15, 2012

Whitehorse women want to play some fastball.

On the heels of the success of the ISF Women’s World Fastpitch Championships, a burgeoning local women’s league is in the works.

By Sam Riches on August 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

On the heels of the success of the ISF Women’s World Fastpitch Championships, a burgeoning local women’s league is in the works.

The city hasn’t had a women’s league since the ‘80s and Karen Branigan, one of the organizers behind the rebirth, said the response has been encouraging.

“Based on the enthusiasm I’ve seen so far it looks really promising,” she told the Star.

The group has been hosting games at the Takhini 3 Diamond the last two Wednesday nights and will be back on the field tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Branigan said the games have brought out a mix of talent and ages, showing promise for a healthy future.

“There hasn’t been a league here for quite a long time and a couple of the people that played a hundred years ago were seeing if it’s possible, strangely enough, it’s a much younger generation that really miss it,” she said

So far, the message has been getting out through word of mouth and some Facebook posts.

Branigan said the organizers will be continuing to play every Wednesday until the end of the month and if the attendance rates keep up, they will begin the necessary paper work to have a proper league in place next spring.

“We’ll keep playing as long as we can keep using the field. We hope to collect three or fours teams and then we’ll be in good shape to go ahead with the league,” she said.

“I was astounded by the interest and we know we haven’t even scratched the surface of other players available in Whitehorse.”

The emergence of the women’s league comes in the wake of the collapse of the men’s league.

After attempting to stay alive by contracting their league from four teams to three, the men’s league announced their closure earlier in the month.

Despite the changes, the league was still unable to get the attendance rates high enough to host a proper game.

The cancellation comes just as the season was beginning to wrap up and prepare for the playoffs that had been scheduled for last week.

Branigan thinks the women’s league can avoid a similar fate by encouraging local youth to also take part in the league.

“We’ve had a great mix of people from different age groups, skill sets and abilities,” she said.

“We want to get kids from minor ball involved. They don’t always have a place to continue their development.”

Branigan is also hoping the men’s league can bounce back so the two leagues can operate with each other’s support.

“I’d love if the men could keep their league going as well and give us a stronger voice,” she said.

If things move forward as hoped, the organizers will begin the process of getting registered as a non-profit, insured and work out the appropriate costs and fees with Softball Yukon.

“We still have the books from the last time the league ran and there’s still a tiny bit of cash in there from 20 years ago to give us a little bit of start-up funding,” said Branigan.

“We’re exited about getting this going.”

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