1 of 5: Humboldt ball player was to go to Japan for clinic

HUMBOLDT — Eleven-year-old Humboldt resident Camden Suchan was selected by Baseball Canada to travel to Japan for a week of studying with players from other countries, something which the pandemic has made no longer possible.

“I just thought it was an incredible opportunity, that just unfortunately is not going to happen,” said Brett Suchan, Camden’s baseball coach and dad.

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He said they first learned about the World Children’s Baseball Fair in February. The fair hosts annual baseball clinics for 10 and 11 year olds. 

This year’s clinic, which was to run from Aug. 14 to 21, was for girls only to celebrate the organization's 30th anniversary.

To qualify for one of the five spots for Canadians, applicants were asked to submit a video to Baseball Canada on why they love baseball and what attending the clinics would mean to them.

“She had some help from her aunt, who was a videographer, and she did up a really nice video,” Brett said. “We just submitted clips of her playing since she was five years old, from various leagues and ages, and put it all together in a nice montage.”

For Camden, baseball means a chance to play with friends and spend time with her dad.

“I’ve been her coach many years now, we get to spend some time together pitching and hitting.”

Three days before her 11th birthday, on March 8, she received the call that she was selected.

Once the Olympics were postponed due to the pandemic, the organization had to make the decision to cancel the event due to everyone’s safety. The family was informed mid-April.

“She was disappointed, but I think going there at a young age is scary too, so it is more of a mixed emotion with that. It’s exciting, it’s scary,” Brett said.

Brett said if the age restriction is lifted, Camden will likely be applying for it next year.

“I’m still in contact with Baseball Canada, because they’re keeping me up-to-date on what they’re doing because I know Baseball Canada wants to send all the little girls that were picked a little something from Baseball Canada, clothing-wise and stuff,” he said.

 “As parents, of course we’re disappointed for her, and she’s disappointed, but she’s still happy that we’re healthy, right? And everyone in town is for the most part healthy, and that’s more important.”

As a coach in the community, Brett said that any youth can keep active and keep practicing their game, as long as they have a tennis ball to bounce on the wall they can practice baseball.

For Camden, she has a weekly baseball training schedule which includes a rotation of grounders, bullpens, long toss and pitching.

“I don’t put on any pressure on her and it’s just something we do together, so we have fun.”

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