Softball body keen to boost numbers

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The Eastern Southland Softball Association wants to increase its numbers.
After the association’s softball diamond was torn up earlier this year when the Gore District Council searched for a new water source, committee member Brodie Andrews said the association wanted to move forward in a positive light.
“We have a new diamond all marked out,” Andrews said.
“Right now we have just started the tee-ball season. The softball season is still going for the under-17s as well. That team was started in 2017 – the junior Titans, a mixed-grade team.”
The junior Titans season was “not going too bad” but for Andrews the importance of starting the mixed-grade team was to share the knowledge of the game.
“It could spark up a bit more interest,” he said.
“The kids are loving it so far. They aren’t winning every game but they are enjoying it.
“For example, we had some of the under-17 team down marking out the new diamond. We are wanting to bring more of the younger generations into it.”
Andrews said the association already had a strong following but attracting younger members had proved a challenge recently.
“When I left school it was on the decline and there is nothing to bridge that gap between senior tee-ball and junior softball. We want to get that moving,” he said.
Andrews said the overall aim was to have the players leaving tee-ball go straight into playing softball.
To do so, Andrews had planned to organise an under-17 tournament with Eastern Southland high schools.
“There was some interest, just not enough.”
Regardless, Andrews said there more many options for Eastern Southland softball players.
“Right now the Eastern teams all have to go to Invercargill to play and there’s only four teams in the competition. … If we could could get every school in Eastern Southland, technically we could probably have our own division here.”
Andrews said softball was a good game and made good entertainment for after school.
“Just come and have a crack. It can keep you ticking over till your next season.”
The senior Titans team is also in the midst of the senior premier competition which Andrews said was going well.
To find out more about playing tee-ball or softball, look up the Eastern Southland Softball Association’s social media page or head in to see Brodie Andrews at Aitken Joinery.