Whitehorse will be the centre of the softball universe a third time come 2014.
Last week the International Softball Federation (ISF) awarded the Yukon capital hosting privileges for the 2014 Junior Men’s World Championship, which will feature 12 international teams, including Australia, Japan and the US, in addition to Canada.
“I think it’s a testament to the city, to the complex and our volunteers’ ability to host,” said George Arcand, executive director of Softball Yukon. “I’m ecstatic; I think it’s great.”
It will be the second time that Whitehorse hosts this particular tournament, having hosted the junior men’s championship in 2008, in which Canada captured silver.
Whitehorse will also be hosting the 2012 Women’s World Fastpitch Championship next July.
“The coaches I talked to after the last junior men’s tournament we hosted, they all said they had as good a tournament as ever has been put on and they’d like to come back,” said Arcand. “We bid on it based on that.”
Since hosting the 2008 championships, Whitehorse’s Pepsi Softball Centre has undergone numerous upgrades.
Before Whitehorse hosted Team Canada’s Senior Women’s Fast Pitch selection camp last summer, Softball Yukon spent $25,000 to renovate dugouts at the facility’s two main fields. There have also been expansions to the ballpark’s main building to upgrade the umpire facilities and to add an area to test for illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
“We’re looking forward to 2012 for the women’s, and on to 2014 with the boys again, so it’s going to be an exciting three years,” said Arcand.
Softball Canada was batting 1,000 at an ISF conference over the weekend in Oklahoma City. In addition to Whitehorse getting the junior men’s championships in 2014, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was awarded the 2015 ISF Senior Men’s World Championship.
“We are delighted that the international softball membership has entrusted us to host these two championships,” said Softball Canada President Kevin Quinn in a media release. “Both Whitehorse and Saskatoon are experienced hosts that have proven their ability to put on great events and combine that with warm hospitality for visitors.”
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