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Backbone of the ball team
Returning to coach the team they played on years ago is a favourite past-time of three young Oak Bay women. Kelsie Hawkins, Erica Littler and Jill-Marie Moreau all helped coach the Cararvon U14B girls softball team this year. The team placed second at the U14 Western Canadian Softball Championships earlier in August.
The overwhelming feeling of excitement and happiness when playing softball is irreplaceable for Jill-Marie Moreau.
Moreau, 25, started playing softball when she was seven years old at the Carnarvon Ball Club in Allenby Park.
“With my sister as a teammate and my dad as one of the coaches … I knew that I was part of something very special,” said Moreau.
After graduating from Oak Bay High in 2006, Moreau received an athletic scholarship as a catcher to Brenau University’s Division 2 softball team in Gainesville, Georgia.
“Being part of this team allowed me to grow … and helped me realize that there were so many opportunities in softball on so many different levels,” said Moreau.
She went to Brenau University for a year in 2007, before returning to Victoria.
“I came back because they didn’t offer an education degree that I wanted to pursue,” she said.
After returning from Georgia, Moreau took a few years off school due to an abdominal injury.
She is currently in her third year at UVic, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Education with a major in physical education and a minor in geography and special education.
“I am now healthy and looking forward to a future in the education world,” she said.
In order to keep up with softball, Moreau plays on the women’s A league at Hyacinth Park and also coaches the Carnarvon U14B girls softball team.
“I want to inspire others the same way my coaches inspired me, and let people know that playing softball relates to building so many important life skills that most people don’t connect with softball,” said Moreau.
She said this includes learning about leading a healthy lifestyle, dealing with adversity, goal setting, cooperation and teamwork.
“It also builds confidence and self-esteem.”
Besides coaching the girls’ team, Moreau also got involved in coaching Special Olympics two years ago at UVic, where she coaches softball and a fitness club called Club Fit.
“It’s been absolutely great to see the personal growth in others,” said Moreau.