News / Surrey Athletes Claim Spots On Team Canada Roster
Surrey, B.C. – Canada has finalized its 2018 national team roster that will compete in the upcoming Canada Cup International Softball Championship July 13-22 at Softball City in Surrey. Central to the team’s success will be Surrey’s own Sara Groenwegen and Holly Speers – and the addition of Kelsey Jenkins, daughter of Delta native and former national team member Shannah Biggon.
Groenwegen has been a member of Canada’s National Team since 2013, straight out of high school. She is also a three-time All American at the University of Minnesota. For her, the Canada Cup is important for a variety of reasons.
“Nothing beats the opportunity to play in front of family and friends, wearing the Maple Leaf on my jersey, said Groenwegen. “But we also know the Canada Cup will be an important test of how we come together and sets us up for other international tournaments that follow, in the hope of qualifying for the Olympics.”
Holly Speers has enjoyed a great deal of success at the collegiate level and was a first team all American in 2018 with Kent State University. For her, the Canada Cup experience is one of coming home.
“I recall being 7 or 8 years old and watching the Canada Cup,” said Speers. “Now, as a player, this is the event we circle on our calendars because it’s the only major tournament of its kind in Canada where we get to play in front of friends and family. However, it’s also an important measuring stick and we want to see improvement with each game.”
Kelsey Jenkins hails from Tucson Arizona and holds several school records at the University of Wisconsin. It was her mother who helped her develop a love of softball.
=“In high school, I would travel to BC during the summer. My family had a strong connection with the province and Canada Cup – and later when an opportunity developed to play for Canada, I was ecstatic and so was my mom,” said Jenkins. “Now, the Canada Cup is an opportunity for us to fine tune and perfect every aspect of our game and give the best performance possible.”
The Canada Cup tournament will host an estimated 1,200 elite athletes spanning five divisions: Women’s international, Futures Gold (U19), Futures Select (U19), Showcase Gold (16U) and Showcase Select (16U).
“The fact that almost half of this year’s national team hails from British Columbia says a great deal about the quality of softball players emerging from this province,” said Canada Cup Chairman Greg Timm. “Even more significant is that this squad, with a core nucleus from BC will be working, training and playing together to achieve a berth in the 2020 Olympics.”