With another softball season about to begin, Northern District Softball Association players are raring to go.
One of the only association’s in Melbourne’s north, the Mill Park-based association continues to grow, with the season starting on Saturday.
President Anthony Bradstreet said this season they would have mixed under-13, 15, 17 and 19 competitions along with an open women’s competition, along with tee-ball for the under-8s which are all played at the one location.
Some players have been training over the last few weeks in the lead-up to the season.
“I think we’ll have a number of new kids especially in the juniors,” he said.
“It’s a good opportunity for them to learn the game but more importantly have fun.
“We welcome players throughout the season and will slot them into teams. It’s fun and social and with the sport back in the Olympics we’re hoping to get a bit more focus on the sport.
Bradstreet said the key to their association was families. “We’ve got two main junior clubs with multiple teams and in the open grade we have five or six teams between four clubs,” he said. “The youngest player in the open grade is 15 and the oldest is in their 60s.
“We have a lot of mothers and kids playing. A lot of mothers get back into it as their kids are playing. It’s our number one source of getting players in the open grade.”
The association’s development is being noticed on a wider scale with a number of players being selected for representative sides.
Bradstreet said in his time at the association the number had never been this high. “We have more than 10 players from the association in state and state school teams,” he said.
“It’s grown quite well. Having the older kids making teams gives the younger players something to aspire to.
“We’re hoping that they will grow their skills and it will help get some other kids into the sport.
“We’re very privileged that the older rep players are helping coach the junior ranks.”
Among those in the state teams are Anthony Serra, Angelina Kichakov, Hannah Scott, Marcus Ferraro, Joseph Serra, Caitlin Laird, Jamie-Lee Mathews, Joshua Opasinov, Logan O’Brien, Ethan Scott and Jordan Baker.
As well as having players playing for state teams, the club has several coaches who have been involved at that level.
For more details, email: northernsoftballvic.gmail.com