COMPETITIVE - From left

Alberta Wild fastball heads to World Master Games

Red Deer team members in New Zealand to compete with the world's best

Alberta Wild, a select fastball team comprised of ladies aged 35 and up will be heading to the World Master Games in Auckland, New Zealand.

The 10-day event, held April 21st – 30th, is the world’s largest multi-sport event held every four years.

“They’re expecting 28,000 participants and they range from different sports from swimming to track and field hockey. There’s tons of sports,” said Trudy Haraldson, the catcher for both Alberta Wild and N. Jensen’s Bandits, a Red Deer team. Haraldson also hand picked everyone to form the team.

In Haraldson’s division within Alberta Wild, they’re registered as Competitive Ladies 35 Plus.

“You can register in recreation, but we always register in competitive,” she said.

Because Alberta Wild is a select team who is competing in the Games, they don’t play together all the time. And the group hasn’t done too shabby.

“We all play on separate teams,” said Haraldson. “We went to provincials in 2012 and won silver, and then we went to the World Master Games in Turin, Italy in 2013 and beat Australia to win the bronze medal.”

The N. Jensen’s, who she also plays for is part of the Ladies’ Fastball League. They won second in league last year and won silver at provincials.

Alberta Wild is comprised of girls aged 35+ from different teams throughout Alberta and B.C.

“There’s three of us that still live in Red Deer and then there’s two more Red Deerians that live in Calgary and Leduc, but they’re originally from Red Deer.”

The minimum age for Masters Ladies’ Fastball is 35. There’s 13 players on the team plus a coach. They also have to bring an umpire with them too, which acts as a referee.

“So the coach is different from Italy, but the umpire that’s coming with us is the same from Italy,” said Haraldson.

There are 10 teams in their division and they start playing April 23rd against New Zealand.

“It should be pretty interesting because New Zealand and Australia are coming off of their summer season, because it’s their fall now, and we’re just coming off of winter,” she said, adding that her team hasn’t had any games, just indoor practices.

Haraldson said she’s looking forward to attending the Games and being able to the play the sport she loves at a world class event with talented teammates.

“I feel very privileged and rewarded to be able to go. It combines my two passions in life, fastball and travelling.”

carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com