Home CFB Borden Winning isn’t everything: Women’s Slo-pitch team pulls off greater victory

Winning isn’t everything: Women’s Slo-pitch team pulls off greater victory

Back row (left to right): Head coach: CWO Mike Delarge aka “Coach Mickey”, Avr Jenn Nwamadi, Capt Kelsey McGregor, MCpl Sasha Lalonde, MCpl Karlie Walsh, Sgt Lindsey Lake, Base coach: Cpl Eugene Clifford. Front row (left to right): Capt Kayla Kransor, MS Rachel Kelly, MWO Danielle Winters, MCpl Annie Bourassa, Lt Jacquelyn Spadzinski, Cpl Audrey-Anne Duchemin, 2Lt Liz Ng.

You don’t need to win to experience victory – that’s the takeaway the Borden Women’s Slo-Pitch team is holding onto after participating in the Ontario Women’s Regional Slo-Pitch Tournament in Petawawa last month.

After facing a number of obstacles including the pandemic and losing players to new postings and injuries, the team was close to missing out on the tournament altogether. With just days to spare, they managed to pull together enough players and two coaches. Seven of the 12 members were rookies, and they had no time to practice as a full team before game play in the tournament. To foster a team spirit, they had to get creative.

They were inseparable from the moment they left Borden to the moment they returned, spending quality time as a team on and off the field. During games, they cheered each other on as they took on Kingston, North Bay and Petawawa. Between games the players received some one-on-one coaching for individual skills, and pulled off some defensive plays and a few home runs.

For the team, the camaraderie, teamwork, dedication and overall atmosphere was the embodiment of the Canadian Armed Forces Sports Program’s purpose. With the odds stacked against them, they put up a fight they can be proud of.

“Barely throwing (Slo-pitch pun intended) a team together at the last minute, without having a single practice as a complete team, these women and CFB Borden should be incredibly proud of how well they integrated themselves, their performance throughout the tournament and their overall tournament standing,” said head coach CWO Delarge, also known as Coach “Mickey”.

Though they didn’t take home the trophy, there were many personal wins for the team, lessons learned, and friendships developed. Even the five senior players who have played for years on CAF sports teams agreed the team experience was like none other.

“Even though we were bested by some of the more experienced teams from across the region, not once was there a single sense of defeat amongst this team of fierce women,” CWO Delarge said. “I can honestly say that this team of hard fighting women have provided me with one of the most fun and memorable experiences of my career. I am honoured to have been their coach and look forward to next year’s championship season.”

The team is actively looking for new players for the 2023 season. Those interested can visit CAFconnection.ca for more information, or contact Chris Neri, Base Borden Sports Coordinator at chris.neri@forces.gc.ca.

By: Emily Nakeff, Editor