Softball Australia’s Product Development Coordinator Shane Cantelmi (left) and Softball WA Chairman Bill Leonard (right) presenting the Homeplate Status Certificate to Rockingham City and Districts Softball Association President Mike Canning (centre) at Rockingham’s Social 7s Competition final
Softball Australia congratulates Rockingham City and Districts Softball Association (WA) finishing on top of the Homeplate Ladder for 2016/17 with a whopping 130 points.
The past twelve months have been hugely successful for the growing association, having facilitated successful Softball Batter Up programs, Social 7s, Have a Go days, and participated in the Softball WA Aboriginal Sports Carnival. In 2015-16, they recorded 446 members; this season they have registered an additional 149 members – a massive 33.4% growth!
Mike Canning President of Rockingham contributes a lot of the association’s success to the support provided by governing body, Softball WA. “The success of Softball Rockingham has been largely contributed to by the assistance of our governing body Softball WA, particularly its staff including former Association Coordinator’s Jessica Watts and Anna Haynes as well as Membership Services Officer, Donna Powell” said Mike.
The committee has been working hard on setting good governance foundations, recently formalising a yearly budget, setting a vision statement and identifying their purpose and values. Over the past twelve months with the support of Softball WA’s Association Coordinator, they have developed and adopted a new Constitution and have recently met each National Affiliation Standard. The association also recently completed a strategic and operational plan. All these initiatives have helped the association achieve Homeplate status and finish on top of the ladder.
“The tools given to us by Softball Australia through their Homeplate website has also been a big contributor to the success of the association. Developing a strategic plan and bringing our association in line with the direction of our governing bodies has created fantastic relationships, and has given us all the tools to be where we are today. I encourage all associations to build better relationships with the governing body and embrace the tools and programs they come up with, as it shows by embracing their direction and utilising their tools improves the game of softball for everyone involved” said Mike.
In 2015, Rockingham City hosted WA’s first Social 7s competition involving eight teams. Due to its success, the association has managed to increase the number of teams from eight to 14, with 156 people registered and participating. “Social 7s was a great success for us; players both new and existing embraced the new format and it was a great revenue raiser for the association” said Mike.
Rockingham City has a particular focus on junior recruitment, having implemented successful strategies to recruit juniors through Have a Go days, Softball Batter Up, a recruitment stall at the local shopping centre and a wonderful opportunity for juniors to participate in a pitching and catching clinic with state players. These initiatives have seen an increase in junior membership from 115 in 2015 to 176 this season. They have also focused on providing opportunities for their coaches to increase their knowledge and skills. They currently have 33 coaches, 12 of whom are Level 1 accredited.
In 2015/16, Rockingham City was recognised as Softball WA Affiliate of the Year for their efforts in conducting the first Social 7s competition and hosting the final round of the Little League All-star Championship.
Dean Burton CEO of Softball WA says “it’s fantastic to see Rockingham City and Districts Softball Association finish on top of the Homeplate Ladder across Australia for 2016/17. The Association, led by Mike Canning, work tirelessly to grow the game in their area. They have welcomed many of the opportunities available through Softball WA and Softball Australia on the field and off the field. Not only have they significantly grown member numbers though facilitating programs such as Social 7s and Softball Batter Up, but they have also taken time to review their structure, plan and implement a vision for softball in their area. They continue to develop and enhance players, but also have not forgotten the social and community aspect of what the sport can provide. I believe they provide the modern blueprint for other associations and have been able execute this blueprint very quickly through a number of dedicated volunteers. Well done and congratulations to the Rockingham City and Districts Softball Association on their achievement of being rated the top association in Australia.”
Congratulations to Rockingham on their amazing success and with the foundation they have built, no doubt more to come!