Nicola Wealth’s partnership with CAN Fund #150Women aligns two organizations with a commitment to superior performance and a mission to inspire excellence. Becoming a CAN Fund #150Women recipient helps ease the financial burden for female athletes so they can focus on reaching their full potential.
Each week Nicola Wealth will be featuring a CAN Fund #150Women Recipient as they prepare to represent Canada on the world stage. This week we spoke with Natalie Wideman about competing for Canada, softball returning to the Games and the impact of being a CAN Fund #150Women Recipient.
Hometown: Mississauga, ON
CAN Fund #150Women Recipient
Natalie started playing softball at the age of five and continued to play for multiple organizations in her hometown of Mississauga. Watching her older brothers grow up playing baseball, she was competitive from day one – if they could do it, she was going to prove she could do it too.
After graduating high school, Natalie went on to attend the California University of Pennsylvania where she played softball collegiately and earned her bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. Natalie first joined the Senior National Softball Team in 2012, where she helped lead Canada to a fourth-place finish at the WBSC World Championships. She’s been an integral part of the National Team since, winning a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games on home soil in Toronto, as well as bronze medals at the 2016 and 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championships. Most recently, Natalie and her teammates won silver at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
The Tokyo Summer Games will be featuring softball for the first time since 2008 and will not return for the Paris 2024 Games. Currently ranked 3rd in the world, this summer is Natalie and the team’s one opportunity to represent softball for Canada on the world stage. The women’s softball team will be competing against Mexico in their first game on July 20th at 11 pm PST or July 21st at 2 am EST.
What are your words to live by?
Stay within yourself.
The CAN Fund #150Women mantra is BE EPIC, what does this mean to you?
Pushing yourself and those around you to the next level!
What does it mean to compete for Canada?
The best part about representing Canada is being given the opportunity to inspire the next generation by leaving a positive legacy. I have an awesome responsibility when I wear the Canadian jersey and I take it very seriously. I want to be a role model that younger athletes can look up to for all of the right reasons.
Whether on or off the field as a Canadian athlete, I consider it my job to be the best I can be no matter who is watching. I choose to set an example that is both expected of a Canadian professional athlete and that is attainable by all of those watching. Internationally, Canadian’s have a reputation for being workhorses and for being sportsmen. I appreciate and respect those who have come before me to build that reputation and I intend to uphold that reputation in everything I do.
How has being a CAN Fund #150Women recipient impacted your journey as a female athlete?
I am amazed by CAN Fund #150Women! I’m so honoured to be a multiple-time recipient. The impact you have on us as athletes and individuals is a life-long one. Just knowing that other successful, driven women see our potential and see where we can get with their help and they know the work we’re putting in, even when most don’t – it makes my heart feel nice and it really makes me excited to have that opportunity in the future to give back.
Follow Natalie’s journey on Instagram: @NatalieWideman and on Twitter: @150Women
Donate $150 or more to CAN Fund #150Women and support female athletes who compete for Canada. CAN Fund #150Women Donation Link: https://bit.ly/1B8YQEV
Special Announcement – On Sunday, July 25th CAN Fund #150Women presents the BE EPIC Run – Supporting Female Athletes Who Compete For Canada. Walk or Run any distance in your neighbourhood to participate. Get involved and help make this our biggest fundraiser yet! Registration is now open for the BE EPIC Run. There is no registration fee, instead, we ask you to make a one-time donation to CAN Fund #150Women.