A Chase youth softball player will be traveling to Uganda for two weeks to share her love of the sport.
Sixteen-year-old Brianna Billy is one of 24 athletes in North America selected to participate in the Beyond the White Lines Softball Academy’s Grow the Game initiative. During their stay, athletes will play an exhibition series with the Ugandan and Kenyan National Softball Teams as well as work with local club teams.
Funding for the trip has posed its challenges though. The primary source of revenue for Grow the Game comes from player fees, fundraisers and sponsorships. Billy and her family have not been able to participate in many of the fundraisers as they are located in the Lower Mainland.
Thanks to donations from friends and family along with a 50/50 raffle, Billy and her family have been able to gather enough funds. Help also came from the Chase Rotary Club who presented Billy with a cheque to help sponsor her trip.
Unexpected costs are still arising though, like vaccinations and exchanging Canadian currency to U.S.
Billy, who has been playing softball since she was 6-years-old, is excited to be immersed in Ugandan culture and share the game, her mother Desira John says.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, it’s like a childhood dream to go to Africa,” John said of her daughter. “I think something that is going to stand out for all of us is the safari we will be doing over New Year’s Eve.”
John says that Billy is a role model to her peers and hopes she can inspire kids her age to find similar opportunities in the sports they play.