SOFTBALL continues its push to prominence again in the Tamworth sporting landscape this weekend.
The inaugural Top Gun Tournament will bring U15 teams from Tweed Heads, Lismore, Orange and Manly to the city, and is a starting point to getting the sport back to where it once was.
“It’s getting something back permanently on the calendar,” Tamworth Softball Association president Richard Webb said.
“Given our stage of development, U15s seemed a good age to start with.”
It will also give their U15 representative side some good competition ahead of the State Championships next month.
And the other country associations for that matter.
“It gives the country sides some good tough competition and something to measure themselves against,” Webb said.
Ideally, they would have liked a few more teams, and initial enquiries were for about 10-12 teams, but Webb said they were more than happy with the response.
“Looking from a long-term perspective it’s a start,” he said.
Tamworth will field two teams – an U15s side and a younger side that will play as United.
They are virtually the North West side that played at the State Championships.
That was where the seed was planted, United president Mandy Brown said.
“One of the team coaches down there put the idea in our head, saying they were coming up,” Brown said.
After thinking about it they saw it as a good opportunity to give the girls a bit more exposure and experience.
“It’s game time for the girls,” Brown said.
“They’ve been training as much as they can.”
The club itself was only established this year.
It came about after some of the “leftovers” from the two teams last year played under the United banner.
“The girls loved it,” Brown said. “We thought we’d go ahead bigger.”
They have, with at least enough numbers signed on for three teams – the girls playing this weekend, an older team, and a social ladies team.
They are also close to having an U12s team but need a few more players.
The action will get underway this weekend at 9.30am tomorrow and continue through to 4.30pm, with the final being played at 12.30pm on Sunday.