Going into this summer softball season, we knew we had to keep our expectations realistic. Football, baseball and basketball each had tried to start earlier and had to change their plans because of the global pandemic. No one had figured it out yet; we still haven’t figured it out. So when we took the field, we tried to get in as much softball in as we could.
Our season was cut short because many of us were exposed to COVID, but before it was, we had the unique opportunity to change the atmosphere of our season. After a very challenging and emotional trial our team faced — withdrawing from our team and forming a new one — we wanted to show the world that our team was about more than the game of softball. The ScrapYard Dawgs became the This Is Us softball team, formed to move forward after what was falsely portrayed about us. This was a player-run team to its core. My teammates and I were answering emails, another teammate was creating spreadsheets and managing expenses, and another was ordering uniforms and supplies. This process allowed us the opportunity to make a statement of awareness, empowerment and unity.
Aiming to stay away from political agendas or opinions as much as we could, we wanted to talk about awareness from the stance of being aware of all people’s backgrounds and beliefs. We believe in putting in the time to learn about one another.
Softball is a unique sport, which any female can play. We want to empower young girls to see that they can be in this game no matter their color, background, beliefs or body type. There are no outright advantages in softball. No matter who you are or where you come from, you can play this game.
Empowerment — We hope to inspire our community of young women and beyond to know they have a voice and they get to choose what they use it for. We each have an opportunity to create change if we just believe we can.
Unity — That’s the beauty of being on a team. By being united in sports, we can then take what we learn about team camaraderie and apply that to real life. We don’t have to be united only in sports, but with our friends, family, community and country. No matter what each other looks like, we can work toward unity.
These are the pillars we began with when we formed This Is Us. This goes beyond softball; we’re more than just a team. With the season ending mid-season, it would feel like all the work we put into this organization would be for nothing if it ended on the field. But because it started as so much more than softball, it will remain as so. We have plans for camps, clinics and other strategies to prepare the next generation of softball players.
Going through this process as a Christ-follower saved me from spiraling out of control. This was a heavy season. If I did not have my faith in Jesus Christ, I don’t know how I would have come out of this.
Esther 4:14 says, “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” If I didn’t know my position as a child of God, designed for a purpose, I would question, “Why am I here? What is the point of this?” But there are so many people in this scene who are unique, and everyone who is here is here for a purpose.
— Aubree Munro, This Is Us and USA Softball player
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