Guelph's Kaleigh Rafter named head coach of Canadian women's softball team

Guelph, Ont., native Kaleigh Rafter has been named head coach Canada’s women’s national softball team.

Rafter recently retired from playing after helping Canada win bronze at the Tokyo Summer Games and takes over from Mark Smith who announced his retirement in August.

Read more:

Canada wins bronze medal in softball at Tokyo Olympics, defeating Mexico 3-2

“I cannot put into words the excitement I have for being named head coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team,” Rafter said in a statement. “I am humbled at the trust Softball Canada has put in me.

Rafter, a St. James Catholic High School alumnus, has held down the catching duties with the national team since 2007 and is a two-time Olympian, four-time Pan American Games medallist and has represented Canada in five WBSC World Cups.

She also won a gold medal at the 2007 World University games and played two seasons of professional softball in Japan and one in the National Pro Fastpitch League.

“I love the sport of softball and I am committed to growing the game across all age groups in Canada. This program has risen to new heights, culminating with a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” Rafter said.

She is expected to lead Canada into the Canada Cup in June 2022 in Surrey, B.C., and then the World Cup/World Games in Alabama the following month.

“We are very excited to see Kaleigh take on the responsibilities of head coach of our Women’s National Team program,” said Softball Canada president Scott Neiles.

“Her passion and commitment to the Women’s National Team have been exceptional and we are very confident in the abilities and energy she will bring to lead this program in a very positive direction.”

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