Softballers to face tough competition in Canada

Softballers to face tough competition in Canada

Rhiannon Kemp and Tallulah Civoniceva are looking to take their game to the next level when they represent Australia at the 2022 Canada Cup Women's International Softball Championship from June 20-26.

The pair, who play for Redcliffe Leagues Softball Association, caught up with Moreton Daily before flying out to Canada on Wednesday.

Kemp, 23, has been selected for the Aussie Spirit Development team and Civoniceva, 18, has made the U18 side.

Their journey to this point is similar, with both discovering softball through school sport before trying out for Redcliffe Leagues Softball teams and then representing Queensland and Australia.

They are looking forward to “next-level” competition and growing their game in Canada.

“I’m expecting probably the best pitching and sides that I’ve ever faced in my life because there’s teams from America, obviously Canada going, I believe Mexico – they’re all very competitive, high-ranked in the world,” Kemp says.

“I’m mainly going over there for self-development and experience really. Just to take as much as I can (away from it). Seeing the different pitching, just try to take it all in because it is my first open Australian representative team.

“It is the next level, so I’m just going to try and take it all in.”

Relishing the challenge

Civoniceva is also looking forward to the challenge of facing stiff competition.

“We’re versing a lot of American and Canadian teams, so I’m really excited to see the pitchers and see how different their game is compared to ours and just to experience playing internationally is a big thing to have under your belt. Just gaining all of that and taking it all in,” she says.

|“Coming off nationals where this (Australian) team was selected, I think we’ve got a really strong team. I think we’re quite capable of winning it and I think that should be our goal. It’s definitely my goal, to win it.”|

For Kemp, it’s about soaking up the experience and learning as much as she can.

“Seeing as my team is more of a development team, I believe everyone in my team is going over there to develop their softball game and take in the international competition and experiences more than actually winning the tournament,” she says.

Ultimate goal

Long-term, they both want to keep representing their club, state and country, with an eye on the Olympic Games perhaps in Los Angeles in 2028 and Brisbane in 2032.

|“I’m definitely aiming for the highest you can go – the Olympics. We’ll both be quite a good age (in 2032). I’ll be coming more towards the end of my career which is also when you peak in softball,” Kemp says.|

“You can continue playing softball when you’re 34 or so you just have to put in the effort, which I’m willing to do. Going to the Olympics is my highest goal.”

Civoniceva, who has signed with a college in the United States to play in Texas for their season this year and next, is also focused on the ultimate tournament.

“The Olympics are the highest you can go and staying the cycle of things – Queensland and Australian teams – and try to keep that consistent,” she says.

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