Kelowna Fire Department challenges U-17 girls softball teams with firefighting drills

A pair of Kelowna girls softball teams put their skills to the test, by running through a variety of different firefighting drills with the Kelowna Fire Department.

From repelling down the side of the fire hall, to using the jaws of life on a simulated car accident, and even learning the proper ways to use a fire hose, the Kelowna Heat U-17 A and B teams got first-hand experience of what being a firefighter is really like, thanks to one of their coaches who also works for the KFD.

“A really great person that helps our team organized all of this for us, and we’re all having a lot of fun doing it,” said Kelowna Heat player, Ava Hawrys. “The girls are really liking it.”

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The Kelowna Heat A and B teams are currently in the middle of their regular season and are focused on finishing strong before making a run for provincials, but an afternoon away from the ball diamond at the fire hall provided a unique team-bonding experience.

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“I think it’s really good for all of us, like the team bonding is just so good,” described Kelowna Heat player, Chloe Ward.

“We’ve all just become a family and I think that getting through things like this with each other just makes us stronger.”

The main goal behind this event was to show these girls, aged 15 to 17, that with a good attitude and a hard work ethic, anything is possible — something the head coaches have been trying to instill in the two teams since tryouts.

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“What’s important to us is building out leadership as well as softball skills,” said Kelowna Heat head coach, Michelle Webster.

“So, empowering our young athletes to see all the things that they can be and grow into themselves, and so (it’s) really cool for them to come out and do the drills.”

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Coach Michelle Webster adds that as her coaching staff works to instill these positive attitudes into the girls, it leads to more than just on-field success.

“We have seven coaches with 26 kids in our program, and again we’re from all over with very different backgrounds, and so what we do on the softball field is one thing, but what we’re doing to create tools and skill-sets that they’ll take for the rest of their lives. That’s the bigger picture for our program for sure,” said Webster.

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