‘We build family’: B.C. slo-pitch tournament highlights addiction recovery community

The loud crack of bats rang out in Burnaby, B.C., for an annual addiction recovery softball tournament on Saturday.

The sporting event, Summer Slam Slo-Pitch, features 28 teams composed of players who are in recovery from addiction.

The tournament began in 2016 and is run by Together We Can, a Canadian non-profit addiction treatment service provider.

“This is the largest recovery ball tournament in the country. Slo-pitch is an opportunity to create fellowship and community,” Stacey Wilson said, Together We Can’s executive director.

“It’s building the bonds(and) pouring mortar into the foundation of recovery.”

Wilson said for some, especially those who may not have family or have been estranged from their families, its a chance for people to get together and to create relationships with people who understand one another and the problems they face.

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“We build family. We are all family and all in this together.”

Click to play video: 'Drug addiction recovery success story'

Drug addiction recovery success story

One of those athletes is Rob Slater. He started a team a few years ago called the Devil’s Rejects.

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“(The team) is for people who are new to ball and new to recovery. I just try to help them,” Slater told Global News.

Slater said his addiction began in his teenage years and his recovery journey started is his mid 20s.

“I am 40 now. Recovery ball has been a big, important part of (my sobriety),” he said.

“It has kept me connected to people and made me feel part of a community. When you are in addiction you get lost and feel (alone).

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“This community … you just feel united.”

The tournament runs all weekend long at the Riverway Sport Complex in Burnaby.

It is a family-inclusive event. Participants were encouraged to bring everyone out to enjoy the two days of festivities.

Other events at the tournament included face painting, a bouncy castle and a hot-dog eating contest.

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