Excitement grows as the Northern District Softball Association season is about to get under way.
Association president Michael O’Brien said players were well into pre-season training ahead of the October 13 start.
This season there will be mixed under-8 (tee-ball), under-13 and under-16 competitions and an open women’s competition.
“The players are getting back into the swing of things and for our many new players, including kids and adults who have not played before or that are returning to the game, they are starting to learn the game and most importantly have fun,” O’Brien said.
“The great thing about Northern Softball apart from the softball, are all the other opportunities we provide including games for a wide range of ages, gender mix, the camaraderie, social interaction and fun aspects.”
O’Brien said it was an exciting time for softball, with the sport returning to the Olympics in 2020, while Softball Victoria has announced a new women’s competition.
His association is looking to introduce a social sevens or mixed slow-pitch softball competition. O’Brien said that the Northern player development is being noticed on a wider scale with a number of players being selected for representative sides.
This year alone, seven players were part of School Sport Victoria teams, 22 players in Softball Victoria development or academy teams, 10 in Softball Victoria teams and one player who played in the under-19 International Friendship Series.
Several coaches have been involved at higher levels too.
“The benefit to Northern with so many boys and girls in these representative teams is that the skills they further develop and the experiences they gain are then shared with their teammates and also family, friends and others.
“This may help attract some other kids into the sport. It also gives the younger and new players something to aspire to.”
O’Brien said new players were welcome to attend the final pre-season training session on October 6 and can be added into teams.