THE North West primary schools’ softball teams are working hard in preparation for the upcoming state championships.
The boys’ and girls’ sides are made up of players from all over the region, including Tamworth, Narrabri, Coolah, Gunnedah, Armidale and Rowena.
The distance between schools means that the sides can only get together for three training sessions before the championships so manager and coach Judy Thomas has them working hard at those sessions.
The girls’ side will travel to Penrith at the end of the month while the boys’ championships will be held in Camden at the start of next month.
Thomas is optimistic of the teams’ chances this year, especially because the Narrabri and Armidale school teams are still involved in the final stages of the state schools knockout.
“It has been tough for softball in the region lately as it has been struggling as a sport, although these are the strongest teams we have seen for a few years which is a good sign, and exciting for the coaches,” Thomas said.
Both sides boast a couple of players who were in the squad last year that went to the state championships.
“This experience will definitely help settle the nerves and give the kids some confidence to tackle the other teams and bigger metropolitan sides,” Thomas said.
The teams also train and play against the Tamworth under 15 girls’ squad to improve their game time and confidence.
“We bring it back to basics because some of the kids have played a lot more than others.”
“There is some good talent in these squads. I just hope they can produce it on the day and play some good softball.”
A state squad will be chosen from the championships and Thomas hopes that some North West kids will get a look in and bring more attention to the sport in the region.