The Comox Valley Women’s Fastball League is hosting its 30th annual Comox Valley Charity Tournament, June 15-17 at Lewis Park.
“In 1982, a little girl named Roberta was the catalyst for a small group of fastball players to start the Comox Valley Charity Tournament. This event was the brainchild of Georgia Colclough and Sherri Ruedig who saw fastball as a way to enjoy their sport while raising money to support a local ball-playing family,” tourney spokesperson Jill Cornwell said.
Their idea was to host a women’s tournament, inviting teams from the Comox Valley and Powell River and to emphasize the social aspects of the sport as well as the competitive. They developed a format of a fully packed schedule of games during the day followed by social events in the evening. The Friday Night Social was a way for teams to spend time getting to know each other while competing in various games such as leg and arm wrestling, as well as draws for prizes donated by local merchants.
From its start with 10 teams, the tournament has seen steady attendance and this year is hosting 20 teams coming from Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, Campbell River and locally. Teams range from a Midget girls team to a Masters group from Vancouver.
Over the years, over $200,000 has been raised to support local women and children. Significant funds have been allocated to You Are Not Along (YANA), the local group formed by Roberta’s parents. “We have also purchased a horse for the Therapeutic Riding Society, as well a talking computer for a little girl who couldn’t speak along with sending a young boy for speech therapy, purchasing playground equipment for the park and many other causes,” Cornwell noted.
“With women’s fastball in decline, we are proud of the continued success of the Charity Tournament and invite you to be a participant in celebrating 30 years of giving back to the community,” Cornwell said.
“This year’s event will feature a reunion on June 15 and all former players, coaches and officials are encouraged to join us to relive the glory days. The reunion will be held in the Tsolum Building behind Diamond #1 at Lewis Park.
“On June 16, a three-inning Alumni Game will be featured on Diamond #1 and we are hoping for a large turnout to celebrate. Roberta, the little girl for whom we started this, will be on hand to throw out the first pitch,” said Cornwell.
“Everyone is invited to join us at Lewis Park to witness some great, competitive fastball and to assist us as we continue to support worthy local causes, while playing the game we love.”
– Comox Valley Women’s Fastball League