Submitted by Experience Olympia & Beyond
More than 3,000 athletes, families and spectators will battle for bragging rights as top girls 14u fastpitch teams from around the country show their stuff at the Cascades National Championship being held July 10-15. The Thurston County Fastpitch Association, working in partnership with the Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission, won a bid to host the event from the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), the national governing body for girls fastpitch.
“Our partnership with the Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission was what we needed to ensure this event became much more than just another tournament,” Tournament Director Janet Crader said. “The sports commission connected us with local businesses and offered sports marketing and destination expertise. The staff at the cities of Lacey and Olympia have also been so supportive and excited about the opportunity to assist with the event.”
The tournament will be played at five venues: the Regional Athletic Complex and Rainier Vista Park in Lacey, Stevens Field and Yauger Park in Olympia and Recreation Park in Chehalis. Crader is expecting teams to come from as far away as Arizona and Colorado, with many more regional teams from Alaska, British Columbia and Oregon. Opening ceremonies will take place July 10 at the Regional Athletic Complex and will include a cornhole tournament, skills competitions, a climbing wall, a gaming trailer and a dance party.
“We are encouraging all sports enthusiasts to come out and enjoy the festivities and games on opening day,” Crader added. “Local food and merchandise businesses can become sponsors or participate as vendors.” Interested businesses should contact Crader directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Regional Athletic Complex hosts dozens of sports events each year. In 2022, the sports commission calculated more than a $16 million economic impact on our region for 48 events booked at the facility.
“People spend a lot of money when they visit our region to either watch or participate in sports events,” Jeff Bowe, Vice President of Sales and Development with the Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission said. “It’s even more impactful than business travel because athletes bring their entire family with them and they all stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and visit our attractions while they are here.”