Ottawa, Ont. - Softball Canada is pleased to announce that Frankie Billingsley (Aurora, Ont.) has been named to the national Officiating Development Committee. An accomplished international umpire who is slated to represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympic Summer Games next summer, Billingsley has recently moved to southern Ontario to start her new role as Associate Registrar at York University.
“We were blessed to have so many amazing leaders from all areas of the country who applied to serve on the committee” noted National Director of Umpires Jeff Whipple. “I am certain that Frankie’s experience, both on and off the field, will allow her to make an immediate impact of the national umpire program.”
Billingsley begins her two-year term October 1st. She will join returning members Don Farr (Stittsville, Ont.) and Scott McLaren (Penticton, B.C.) who have been reappointed for two-year terms, along with other ODC members Brent Chadwick (Assiniboia, Sask.), Sandra Forand (Welland, Ont.) and Geneviève Gaudreau (St-Hubert, Que.).
Billingsley fills the spot left open by the retirement of Gary Skjerven (Radville, Sask.) who leaves the ODC after ten years of service. “Gary’s legacy on our national program is huge” said Whipple. “He has been at the core of so much of what we have been able to build over the last decade and we all owe him a huge debt of thanks.”
Jenna Goeres (Surrey, B.C.) and Adrian Wattamaniuk (Edmonton, Alta.) have been named the 2020 Ed Bitz Scholarship recipients. The awards, each valued at $1,000, recognizes young scholar-umpires who excel as both students and officials.
“The opportunity to support young people is one of the pillars of our program” notes Whipple. “These two young people represent the finest our program has to offer, and we expect them to continue to emerge as leaders in our program, both on and off the diamond.”
Goeres is currently entering her first year of a Science program at the University of British Columbia while Wattamaniuk is in his second year of studies in the Engineering program at the University of Alberta.