AFTER months of training, Tamworth’s U13 softball girls are raring to go.
They’ve been building towards this weekend’s State Championships in Camden for about three months.
It’s the fourth time in recent years that Tamworth has taken an U13s team away to the State Championships and it will be a new experience for a lot of them.
“Two of the kids in this group went away with last year’s team,” coach Richard Webb said.
“The rest, this is their first experience.”
Before they went to the regional championships in Newcastle recently, eight of the 12 girls had never played a game.
“The three games we played were, for a lot of them, their first three games,” Webb said.
They lost all three of their games but “improved significantly” over the day.
The last game was pretty close. It was only about 5-2 or something.
“I expect we’ll go much better (this weekend),” Webb said.
Where he really noticed a lot of improvement was their batting.
“As the day went along, their batting became more and confident,” he said.
“It’s their batting that will carry them through at the State Championships,” he said.
He’s not going down there with any expectations that they’re going to claim the title but hopes they’ll be competitive.
“I expect that they’ll all improve their skills and game knowledge,” he said.
The girls had their final training session last Saturday morning and down in Camden will face Southern Districts, Campbelltown, Macarthur, Orange, Mudgee and Newcastle.
The top two teams will then play off in the final.
Four of the side last week travelled away with the North West side to the state carnival.
They had their best finish for a while, coming in ninth.
Webb said the experience they gained from that would be valuable this weekend.
“Three of that four had not been to that level before,” he said.
“That will be a great experience for them.”
And an added bonus for the Tamworth team.
The state championships will coincide with the announcement of the 2020 Olympic host nation and possibly the reinstatement of softball as an Olympic sport.
Webb said they were also striving hard to get an U13 schools competition up and running.
It will target Year 5 and 6 students.
“One of the biggest problems for our kids up here is the lack of game practice,” he said.