Calgary softball organization launches fall academy to increase player profile in U.S.
Calgary Kaizen Softball is launching its first-ever academy for players this fall.
The 10-week program gives Calgary softball players the opportunity to travel on four trips to the United States to get scouted by American colleges while competing against the best.
Jason Poole, president of Kaizen Softball, said the academy has a direct link to increased interest and enrollment in the sport.
“Softball is a growing sport, it’s back in the Olympics so there’s new kids coming out that want to try softball,” Poole said.
“I think the academy also brought bigger numbers because we’re offering a program that is exciting… They’re going to get showcased to U.S. colleges and coaches down there and that’s an important piece to our increase in numbers,” he added.
Megan Poole, Jason’s 17-year-old daughter, is hoping the trips will help her future in the sport after high school.
“It’s my last year of high school so that’s basically my focus right now. I’m hoping to get a scholarship down south,” Poole said. “You want the scouts to see you play and going down to the States is the best opportunity for us.”
Fifteen-year-old Ava Wurzer said she’s excited to see how her team does.
“It’s really cool to see how we stack up against the American teams,” Wurzer said. “They get training all season long and it’s kind of hard for us with the weather but I think we will do pretty well against them.”
Mikhaela Muir said competing against American players makes her want to train even harder.
“I’m always really excited to go down to the States and see the calibre of ball down there,” Muir said. “It makes you better as a player seeing how good their players are down there and it makes you want to work harder.”
The fall academy trips will take Calgary Kaizen Softball players to places like Arizona and Washington State, with the first trip departing to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho later this week.
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