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Southern Alberta School of Softball at Seven Persons School

Posted on July 9, 2024 by 40 Mile Commentator
COURIER PHOTO SUBMITTED GOING YARD: Students enrolled in the Southern Alber￾ta School of Softball practice with coaches Kassidy Hart and Mia Kelly along with teacher Kristine Vizza.

By Samantha Johnson
Prairie Rose School Content Writer

Kristine Vizza teaches Grade 3 and is also the teacher for the Southern Alberta School of Softball at Seven Persons School within Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS). There are 15 students between Grades 4 to 7 in the academy, some with experience and others just starting out. The founding principals of the academy are teamwork, leadership and the spirit of sportsmanship, which Vizza hopes the students carry forward in all areas of their lives. Within the classroom portion, which will be expanded next year, students learned the basics of softball, setting goals, nutrition and player
development.

“Currently, we are only in Seven Persons School and hope to expand the program further into PRPS. Softball is one of the fastest growing sports in Canada for girls, particularly in the age range of students that we see within our
building,” explained Vizza.

The academy runs on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and has the option of training in Redcliff or using the Seven Persons Community Hall for practice when the weather doesn’t permit them to be outside. “We are very lucky to have other spaces we can utilize for the kids to practice,” said Vizza. “We’ve been working lots with the rain and making do and are excited about the new South Alberta Collegiate facility we’ll be able to use.”

Coach Kassidy Hart attends college in Douglas Lake, North Dakota where she received a half-ride scholarship to play softball. “It’s an opportunity to get my education and play softball and I am studying business and marketing,”
stated Hart.

Hart attended Seven Persons for Grades K-9, so coaching there feels like coming back to her childhood. She was late to softball and has only been playing for about five years, although wishes she’d started sooner.

“These girls have lots of potential and I’m excited to see how they turn out in the future, whether they continue with softball or just do it for fun,” said Hart. “I see a lot in these girls and feel they could go far, even at such a young
age.”

Coach Mia Kelly has been playing softball since she was young and coaches with the Medicine Hat Minor Softball Association. She is currently taking her education degree at Medicine Hat College and has completed two French
immersion practicums at Ecole Connaught.

“I chose education because I like helping out kids who are lost and don’t know where they belong, to give them some confidence that I never got when I was younger. I like being the support and person my players can go to whenever they need to talk with someone,” explained Kelly. “At the beginning they knew nothing about softball or what to expect. How
to catch, throw, use their bodies, move their feet or swing a bat and it’s been really cool watching them progress and grow as players and individuals.”

Grade 5 student Charley wanted to join the academy because she thought it would be fun and a good experience. She’s been using this year to try out lots of different sports to find the ones she likes best. In softball, Charley prefers to pitch and has already hit a home run this year. “It’s really fun and you get to show your personality and get yourself out there and make new friends,” said Charley.

Harper is in Grade 4 and has played softball before but said her skills have improved significantly since she started with the academy.

“Softball is really fun, especially with these coaches because they will help you through things you don’t really understand. They are really nice and can help you if you are stuck.

They can do things that you can’t do to show you what you can do,” stated Harper. “I’ve never gotten a home run, but I’ve hit one that is pretty far. I made it to first base.”

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