Story and photos submitted by Eve Rusaw

Our team, known as Canadian Thunderstruck, is an all ladies’ softball team that competed in the 45+ Competitive Division at the World Masters Games that took place in Auckland, New Zealand on April 21-30, 2017.  Two of our players have competed in previous World Masters Competitions winning Gold both in Australia in 2009 and Italy in 2013.

Canadian Thunderstruck  went undefeated winning all 7 games prior to the Gold Medal Game. 

With more athletes than the Olympics, the World Masters Games is the single largest multi sport event on earth with more than 25,000 athletes representing 100 countries in 28 different sports. 

In partnership with the International Olympic Committee, the opening ceremonies were on April 21st which kicked off this 9-day event and supports the “sport for all” philosophy of the Olympic Charter by encouraging athletes from across the globe to compete in 45 disciplines regardless of age, gender, or sport status. 

Our team consisted of 14 women coming from Durham region to Belleville – all of which were eager to represent Ontario and Canada at the Games. Each member has, at some point in their softball careers, competed in the World Masters Games, Ontario Play downs, Canadians, Hamilton Ladies Township and  Belleville Business Ladies Softball Leagues. 

We would like to thank our local sponsors for making this journey possible for all of us local girls who have played sports together for 25+ years as Colborne Free Spirits in Softball and Broomball.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO:  McGlennon Insurance, Colborne Home Hardware, Colborne Foodland, Rutherford’s Roadside Market, Mike W. Voskamp Const., Brighton Automotive & Industrial Supply and Turning Heads Hair Salon.

Also thank you to the Township of Cramahe for the use of the Keeler Centre for our practice.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the World Masters Games since the first games held in Toronto in 1985, please visit