Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada is pleased to announce Meredith Harrison (Titusville, N.B.) and Melody Salehzadeh (Vancouver, B.C.) as the recipients of 2018 Ed Bitz Scholarships.
Harrison, who is in her first year of study in Leisure and Sport Management with a major in Kinesiology at Holland College in Charlottetown, attended her first Canadian Championship this summer as a member of the crew of the U14 Girl’s event in Montreal. She is currently a Level II umpire and has just finished her third year behind the mask. She also officiates youth baseball in her local community.
“Umpiring provides me with a great challenge” offers Harrison. “I love being an example to other girls that there is an opportunity to umpire. I enjoy the respect I am given and the opportunity to stay involved in a different aspect of the game.”
Salehzadek, who regularly works both youth and adult fast pitch in her local area, is entering a Masters in Science in Endocrinology and Early Life Development through the B.C. Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Department of Zoology and the University of British Columbia. She is currently a Level II umpire, having just completed her eighth season wearing blue.
Like all young umpires, she has evolved quickly in her understandings about officiating and sport.
“I now know that umpires do not have to be intimidating to be exceptional” she notes. “My impressions of umpiring are that it is a well-respected profession…making it the silent hero for the sport of softball.”
“We are so proud of these young women” said National Director of Umpires Jeff Whipple. “They represent a whole new generation that are committed to both their community and academics while remaining passionate about the important role of officials in sport and society. The future of our program is bright. I am sure they will both make a significant impact in the future, both on and off the field.”
The Ed Bitz Scholarship, honouring Softball Canada's first National Director of Umpires (who sadly passed away last month), recognizes individuals who have a demonstrated passion for officiating and excel academically at a post-secondary institution. The value of the scholarship is $1,000 for the 2018-19 academic year.