Tseshaht members Camille Hamel, coach for the Master Batters, and Ryan Clutesi Tebbutt, coach for the Finishers, are bringing their teams to Hawaii in early November to play in a slo pitch tournament at Kapiolani Park.
Both Hamel and Tebbutt found an ad for the slow pitch tournament in Hawaii while on social media and signed up with no hesitation.
“I never thought in the world when I signed up for this Hawaii trip that we'd play another Port team,” said Tebbutt. “[I’m] grateful we all have a chance to go to Hawaii and try to play ball there.”
For the Master Batters, they are made up of friends and family from mid-Island up to Port Hardy, including many Tseshaht members and connections to Ahousaht and Hupačasath.
“With my own background of playing ball and my love for ball, [there was] no hesitation, [and I] sent the money to the organizers,” said Hamel. “From there, I just started building my team of people that love the game as much as I do.”
Though the Master Batters have not played or practiced as a team yet, each player has been on the field for the entire softball season, making this their final tournament of the year.
“It's the sport we love,” said Hamel. “We all have a big passion for the game, and to go to Hawaii is amazing.”
For the Finishers, they are entering their third year playing together and this might be just the beginning of international tournaments for them.
“I want to do more of it, definitely,” said Tebbutt. “We're planning on going to the Dominican Republic next year too.”
Though both teams have not made plans yet to connect with the Indigenous people of Hawaii, both Hamel and Tebbutt said they have interest in learning of their culture.
“We haven't made any definite plans yet, but I expect to,” said Hamel. “I want to get to know their cultures just as well as I know my own.”
“Just the experience on its own is winning for me,” said Hamel. “We're going to go play against people of every caliber so it's going to be a great experience.”