Canadian softball’s Sara Groenewegen steps away from pro league over virus concerns

Canada’s Sara Groenewegen opted out of her pro women’s softball league on Wednesday.

In a post on Twitter, the 25-year-old Surrey, B.C., native and Type 1 Diabetic explained that the decision was made because of health concerns over the coronavirus in the U.S.

“We don’t get a lot of opportunity to play professionally and earn an income in the sport of softball, but no amount of money is worth putting my health at risk at this time,” Groenewegen wrote.

The right-handed pitcher had been set to play in the inaugural season of Athletes Unlimited in Chicago at the end of August. The new league is an initiative meant to put power back in the hands of the players. There are no team owners, and the public can purchase equity in the league so that profits go to the athletes.

Groenewegen would have starred alongside standouts such as outfielders AJ Andrews and Victoria Hayward in Chicago.

“This decision wasn’t easy, but after much thought, consideration and conversations with my doctors, trainers and coaches, I’ve come to the conclusion that moving to the United States is not in my best interest for me and my future,” Groenewegen wrote.

Groenewegen was part of Canada’s 2015 gold-medal Pan Am Games team as well as the bronze medallists from the 2016 worlds.

She was diagnosed with Diabetes at nine years old, and was forced to miss the 2018 world championships after contracting Legionnaires’ disease and being placed in a 10-day medically induced coma.

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