On “home” turf, Langley’s Danielle Lawrie-Locke is aiming to help Canada’s national softball team get back to the Olympic Games.
The work continues at South Surrey’s Softball City from July 5-14, during the Canada Cup tournament, and culminates there with the Olympic-qualifier competition at the end of August.
Lawrie-Locke, 32, pitched for Team Canada at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (they placed fourth), helped her University of Washington team win a national championship and also played pro in the National Pro Fastpitch league.
Lawrie-Locke says her decision to come out of retirement in 2018, after learning of softball’s return to the Olympic stage, was a tough one, but she’s looking forward to the challenge – especially with the thought of her husband and two daughters in the stands cheering her on.
“My family has been such a calming presence to me since coming back to the sport,” Lawrie-Locke said in a news release.
“Being an example for my kids, having them watch me set a goal and then be able to achieve it is the thing that drives me daily.
“I want to be a strong influence in their lives and raise strong children.”
Lawrie-Locke said she has fond memories of watching the Canada Cup as a kid. The tournament “really opened my eyes to the possibilities of this sport,” she said.
“I remember watching a game and thinking to myself that this is what I want to do. I hope that in some way I can be the same kind of example for the next generation of kids coming out to watch us play this summer.
“Coming home and playing on my home field is an experience like no other, and it makes me incredibly proud to represent my country.”
The countdown is on to the 25th Canada Cup International Softball Championship! Taking place July 5th – July 14, 2019 at Softball City. Purchase your event tickets NOW! E-mail the Canada Cup Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604.536.9287 (Children 5 & under are free) pic.twitter.com/mlxmY6tOYW
— Canada Cup (@CanadaCup19) June 17, 2019
Lawrie-Locke said Canada Cup will be a great test for her and Team Canada, with all the pressure that comes with winning on home soil.
“It can be a lot of pressure, and you’re either going to crumble or step up,” she said.
“We’ll be able to learn from our mistakes and determine what we can do better moving forward for the ultimate challenge at the end of August, when we fight for a spot in the Olympics.”
In five divisions, the Canada Cup tournament will host more than 1,500 athletes for games at Softball City and also Cloverdale Athletic Park and Sunnyside Park. Event details are posted at CanadaCup.com