(Waterloo, ON) Please see the following message from Chris Meyer, the Director of Softball Operations for UTM Fastpitch Canada:
Good morning everyone, and congratulations on a successful tryout season. On behalf of all the UTM member clubs, coaches & volunteers I would like to extend a warm welcome to the many new faces joining our organization, and also thank those that are returning to us for the 2020/2021 season. This past season was not what anyone of us would have hoped. Softball rightfully so took a back seat to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020 season was relegated to August pod play across the province. Provincials, Easterns and all National Championships were cancelled, and rightfully so. For so many of us, including several of our 2020 teams the lost season meant a lost opportunity to showcase the strong teams that we had built. However we can dwell on the past, we must look ahead now to what we have in store for 2020/2021.
We head into the fall with our largest list of affiliate teams ever. This is now the 6th year of operation for UTM Fastpitch and we are poised to field 11 teams in the (U14 to U19 age class) with the potential to possibly add an Intermediate team next spring if the desire is there from a group of players that had previously expressed interest. Quickly reflecting on some of the things we did accomplish this summer despite the COVID pandemic:
- We incorporated the organization as a registered non-profit in Canada, and we are now known as UTM Fastpitch Canada
- Collectively our teams played over 30 pod games in the month of August
- We successfully expanded our program in Caledon, and have been working with the township to become the official softball program in the community
- In Morriston we expanded the program to include a U14 team, and with the assistance of U19 leader Jason Saker have begun discussions with the minor ball programs in the community on a better way to work together
- Our Durham and Windsor teams brought back 100% of their rosters from 2020, showcasing the respect for the leadership of each of these programs
- Many of our 2001 players in Morriston, Brantford & Eastern Ontario graduated from minor ball, and are now off to post-secondary school for the first time in Canada, and the United States
As we get into Fall 2020 the organization is facing a few challenges. The biggest of course is the continued battle the country and really the world face with the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus. Our teams have once again graciously been placed into pods for a three week period in September thanks to the hard work of the PWSA. PWSA continues to work with the Ministry of Sport to allow softball teams to participate in the sport, and everyone should be grateful for the work and efforts in this regard. The continued unknown about the COVID-19 pandemic creates challenges for all of our teams in determining expenses, and training plans not knowing what the 2021 summer season will look like. We have reminded all of our leaders to consider this in decisions they are making about 2020/2021 budgets.
Additional challenges are present from the softball community at large as well. I can say with confidence in this regard, we continue to work on a resolution for everyone involved and request that everyone allow the process to play out in the way it is documented and structured.
To wrap up this communication, I would like to once again thank every athlete & their families for choosing our organization. Our leadership team here is committed to making your experience with UTM Fastpitch an enjoyable one. We are excited for the opportunity to be your softball program of choice, and we will do great things together.Chris MeyerDirector of Operations, UTM Fastpitch