Junior Men’s Worlds finalist for Canadian Sports Tourism Award

Daily Herald File Photo Team Canada salutes the crowd during the opening ceremonies of the 2018 WBSC Junior Men's Softball World Championship.

The work that went into making the 2018 WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championships a smashing success has been recognized on a national stage.

On Monday it was announced that the event, which was held in Prince Albert last July, was a finalist for Canadian Sports Event of the Year with a budget of less than $1 million.

The Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance chose the nominees for their annual PRESTIGE Awards, with the winners being announced at a luncheon in Ottawa on March 20.

“It is unbelievable to be nominated, let alone a finalist,” Felix Casavant, who co-chaired the event with Derek Smith, said in a statement.

“When we began organizing this event four years ago we never thought for a minute that this event would be recognized nationally. Its so humbling and shows you the great volunteer base we have in our community. We certainly didn’t do it for the recognition, but it is a great honour to be a finalist for a PRESTIGE Award.”

Over 10,000 fans were said to have attended the nine day tournament at the Max Power Ball Parks, which were renovated thanks to a $150,000 four-year fundraising effort called Project Triple Play.

“The 2018 World Junior Softball Championships were an incredible event for our community, and another impressive accomplishment by our city’s volunteers,” City of Prince Albert director of community services Jody Boulet said in a statement.

“This event put our city on the world map as a great host and it also had a positive economic impact for Prince Albert.”

The other finalists for the award are the 2018 Canada 55+ Games, which took place in Saint John, N.B., and the Curl 4 Canada event in Leduc, Alta., which saw the U Sports, CCAA, Canadian Wheelchair and Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship take place in the span of a week.