Fil-Can girl to compete in int’l softball tournament in Singapore

Community News & Features Feb 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm


Na’eema Ticzon Garcia, a 12-year old Filipino Canadian studying in Dubai, was chosen by the Dubai Little League to participate in an U14 all-girls softball tournament in Singapore in March, 2018.

The event will be Garcia’s first international competition in this sport.

It was a pleasant surprise for the parents, Lawrence Garcia and Liise Ticzon, considering that the12-year old, who also plays basketball and chess in official competitions, had just recently taken up the sport seriously as an official member of the Dubai Little League, a non-profit sports organization.

Although Na’eema, a Grade 7 international school student showed keen interest in the sport since she was seven years old, practicing catching and batting with her father, as well as watching Blue Jays games in Toronto, her selection still came as a pleasant surprise for her and her parents.

Na’eema was only in her second season when the League had received an invitation to participate in this year’s U14 all-girls softball tournament in Singapore. To qualify, however, players would have to display a certain level of skill and competence in the game.

“Her first day as a pitcher resulted in two fantastic innings with four strike outs, including the game-ending winning strike out. For the second game in a row, she was named No.1 player by her coach,” says Naeema’s dad.
On a recent Dubai Little League competition where Na’eema played catcher, batter, and ran the plates to home runs, she facilitated a WIN 11-10 for her team, the Mets.

DUBAI LITTLE LEAGUE METS TEAM (Na’eema standing centre)

DUBAI LITTLE LEAGUE METS TEAM (Na’eema standing centre)

Aside from competence, all those vying for a slot at the Singapore competition had to try out and display “a willingness to commit to travel, accommodations, uniforms and of course, extra practices.,” says Na’eema’s mom.

After a week of serious practice with the League, and with additional training by her father, Na’eema announced “I’m going to Singapore” as she received word from her coach that she “made the cut” to the Singapore competition,

Aside from being a top academic student, Na’eema is also an athlete who plays competitive basketball as the only female member of the UAE Skywalker team. As a chess player, Na’eema has participated in professional chess international tournaments exclusive to FIDE-rated players. She was the only Filpino-Canadian delegate at the International Chess Championship for Women, December 15-27, 2017, held at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. where she played with adult international grandmasters.

In that international competition where she easily won in a number of games, she was particularly proud of her first game with the famous WGM (Woman Grand Master) Zeinab Mamedjarova from Azerbaijan. Although she lost in that game, Na’eema “put up a pretty good fight, considering the loss came in 34 moves within about a 45- minute challenging match, “She took home a great experience having played a veteran GM at her age!,” says her proud mom. Na’eema’s current FIDE rating is 1076 while Zeinab’s is 2363.

A fundraiser has been set up to support Na’eema’s dream trip to participate this time in an international softball tournament, her first in this sport.

To help raise funds for the Singapore trip, go to:!/