By Nick Greenizan - Peace Arch News
Published: April 11, 2013 10:00 AM
Updated: April 11, 2013 10:17 AM
The South Surrey-White Rock Minor Softball Association Chinchillas were among 39 teams that took part in the association's opening day celebrations at Sunnyside Park.
It was a busy day at the Sunnyside Park softball diamonds April 6, as the South Surrey-White Rock Fastpitch Association officially kicked off the season.
The festivities were attended by more than 400 young softball players – representing 39 teams – and more than 80 coaches and other volunteers.
Well-known Peninsula singer Mark Donnelly – renowned locally among sports fans for his national-anthem singing at Vancouver Canucks games – also took in the event, kicking it off with a boisterous version of O Canada.
Also announced at the event was the association's new partnership with Ruth Hoffman and the Uganda Baseball and Softball Association. SSWRMSA has sponsored two Ugandan women – both softball coaches – to come to Canada in January, where they'll spend eight months training with White Rock/South Surrey coaches, before taking their new skills back to their home country.
Also announced, by Canadian Open Fastpitch Society's Brittney Prentice, was that the 2013 Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship will be held this year from July 12-22.
The popular event – which hosts some of the best girls and women's fastpitch teams from across the world – is held annually in South Surrey and Cloverdale.
Following the official festivities, 17 softball games hit the field throughout the day at Sunnyside Park.