Founder of Indigenous softball program receives national coaching award

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By Sam Laskaris, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com

Patrick Leask has earned some recognition for the work he’s been putting in on ball diamonds.
Leask, a member of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation in Manitoba, has been selected as the 2021 male recipient of the National Indigenous Coaching Awards, presented by the Aboriginal Sport Circle, the national governing body for Indigenous sports in Canada.
Leask started Oji-Cree Softball this past February. The goal is to introduce the softball development program to as many children as possible, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, in Manitoba.
Though his clinics were open to both girls and boys, Leask said one of the main reasons he started the program is that boys in the province have plenty of baseball options but limited softball choices. Softball features underhand pitching, using a larger ball than baseball. Girls, however, have numerous softball programs that they are able to join.
“In Manitoba there’s no opportunity (for boys) to play a league game or...continued.

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