It was during COVID that Vernon ball player Raynen Campbell’s Uncle Bill asked his nephew if he wanted to play fastpitch softball.
With fastball being the only league going at the time because of the pandemic, Campbell grabbed his glove and said sure.
Since then, the former baseball player has impressed coaches with his natural abilities and talent so much that Campbell has earned a spot on Team B.C. that will compete in U21 men’s softball at the Canada Summer Games, Aug. 16-21, in Niagara, Ont.
“I’m enjoying the new fastpitch scene and the fastball family in B.C. has been amazing, teaching new techniques and strategy,” said Campbell, an outfielder, who played softball before for Team B.C.’s U16 squad at the North American Indigenous Games.
Campbell has played baseball for Vernon AAA Midgets, West Kelowna D-Backs’ college prep team and Kelowna COMBA AAA.
He has a passion for many sports. In high school, Campbell played for the senior basketball team, and played soccer and hockey.
“I definitely have my parents, Derek Campbell and Randi Robins, to thank,” said Campbell. “Also my Okanagan Band community, my friends and family. They’re always supporting me to get to where I need to be.
“Traveling and training is costly, but they have my back and I definitely want to represent my communities as best I can and make them proud.”
Campbell is joined in Niagara on Team B.C.’s men’s softball team by apprentice coach Laura Webster of Vernon.
The Games begin Saturday, Aug. 6.
Also heading to the Canada Games from the North Okanagan, competing for Team B.C.:
Trinity Hansma, athlete, women’s athletics;
Natalya Ariano, Danica Ariano, athletes, women’s rowing;
Olivia Tymkiw, athlete, women’s volleyball;
Darcy Rhodes, coach, men’s box lacrosse;
Braden Kersey, athlete, cycling;
Cooper Humphreys, athlete, golf;
Leena Bennetto, athlete, women’s tennis;
Madison Gardner, athlete, women’s volleyball;
Liam Remple, athlete, men’s volleyball.