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Softball Canada – (Whitehorse, YT) The 2016 Softball Canada Annual General Meeting was held last weekend in Whitehorse, Yukon. Representatives from each Provincial and Territorial Association attended the event, with excellent workshops and discussions on how to improve the sport throughout the country.
 
The three days of meetings began with a national and provincial/territorial staff forum, where Softball Canada staff gave national program updates throughout the morning followed by an afternoon discussion session around member recruitment strategies. The Board of Directors and Officiating Development Committee also held meetings, followed by a President’s Reception where Kevin Quinn highlighted a 37.5% increase in minor boy’s fastpitch registration (U18 and under) over the last five years.
 
Jason Shipley and Jonah Evans from Rawlings were on hand with the launch of their new softball line of products, hosting a welcome reception with entertainment provided by Softball Yukon.
 
Quinn and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Mitchener got things going with an Opening Session the morning of Friday, November 11th where they gave updates on activities related to Softball Canada’s 2015-2018-Strategic Plan, including an overall increase in national membership (4%) and participation numbers in domestic programs, as well recent international success for Canada’s National Teams. 
 
Over the two following days, interactive workshops covered all areas of Softball Canada’s operations, including Marketing, Canadian Championships, Canada Games, Domestic Programs, Coaching, Slo-Pitch, Athlete Development Matrix and Long-Term Player Development. Ben Hulse from Hulse & Durrell shared his company’s work on the Canadian Olympic Committee, Swimming Canada, Curling Canada and Equestrian Canada brands, as a precursor to the work they are currently doing to launch a new Softball Canada brand for the 2017 season. Steve Indig from the Sports Law & Strategy Group also presented a pair of informative workshops on what to expect as a new director and various legal considerations.
 
A total of 13 playing rule change proposals were discussed, along with 60 Special Operating Rules motions proposed by Softball Canada’s Board of Directors and Provincial/Territorial Associations. The most important changes included the removal of the host hotel obligation for teams attending Canadian Championships, changes to the hosting fees of the U14 Girl’s, U16 Girl’s and U18 Women’s Canadian Championships, age category changes from U18 to U19 and U21 to U23 for Men and from U18 to U19 for Women starting in the 2018 season, and combining the U21 Women and Women into one Canadian Championship, also beginning in 2018.
 
At the Annual General Meeting, four members of Softball Canada’s Board of Directors ran unopposed and saw their two-year terms renewed, including Lisa Down (Saskatoon, SK), Jackie Dugger (Surrey, BC), Lynda Turton (Wainfleet, ON) and Andrea Wolf (Wapella, SK).
 
The Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet took place the evening of Saturday, November 12. Taylor Lundrigan (Abbotsford, BC) and Tyler Randerson (New Hamburg, ON) were announced as the recipients of the Claude Deschamps Memorial Award ($1,000 bursary), while Kelyn Palmer (MacLellan’s Brook, NS) and Derek Hyde (Tavistock, ON) earned the Ethel Boyce Achievement Award ($1,000 bursary). Softball Canada presented the Home Run Sports Coach of the Year Award to Jean-Yves Doucet (St-Leonard-d’Aston, QC), the Home Run Sports Umpire of the Year Award to Aaron Poulin (Hope, BC) and the Rose Hodgson Volunteer of the Year Award to Lawrence Beatty (Saskatoon, SK). A total of five inductees were inducted to the Softball Canada Hall of Fame, including the late Tom Bell (Official – British Columbia), Mike Hornak (Official – British Columbia), Dennis Milligan (Builder – Alberta), Harvey Stevenson (Athlete – British Columbia) and Robb Andison (Builder – Yukon). All of these inductees brought significant contributions at both the national and international level, and were very humbled by the presentations.
 
The Softball Canada Annual General Meeting in Whitehorse was filled with wonderful hospitality and collaborative discussions, and Softball Canada would like to thank everyone who contributed to that success, including the Softball Yukon volunteers and staff, our Provincial/Territorial delegates, as well as the Board of Directors and staff of Softball Canada. Next year’s Annual General Meeting will take place November 9-11, 2017 in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador.

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For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager – Marketing and Communications
Softball Canada
O: (613) 523-3386 ext. 3105
C: (613) 795-1996
gleblanc@softball.ca