It has been an important year for Australian softball, with several significant developments that signal a positive future for the sport.
The Softball Australia AGM brought together officials from all states and territories to share ideas and develop plans for the future.
The key messages from the AGM, held on the weekend of 8-9 October, included:
For the first time in 20 years, softball achieved a growth in our membership base, with an increase of 1.61 per cent in participation numbers. It’s a small growth but is a significant turning point for softball in Australia.
The Indigenous Softball Program is still regarded as the No. 1 sport for indigenous women in this country, especially in Northern Australia. We will continue to grow our program delivery and work with government departments to build better resources for this program.
In its first year, Social 7s added more than 1400 participants, with more than 770 new to the sport. We will continue to grow this fun, fast and easy format of the game and will explore the viability of commercial providers delivering this great product and the corporate opportunities it presents.
There are 33 sports involved in the Australian Sports Commission’s Sporting Schools Program. A year ago softball was ranked 15th in participation. Now it is in the top 10, around the same level as netball, rugby, gymnastics, basketball and football.
New board members
Christine Heron from Northern Territory was re-elected and Fiona Crawford from NSW, who had been an appointed member, joins the board as an elected member.
Hall of Fame
Olympic medallist Danielle Stewart has capped off a stellar career by becoming the latest member of the Softball Australia Hall of Fame. She will be joined at the next Hall of Fame induction ceremony by long-time statistician Helen Edwards.
Across the country, state softball associations generated more than $600,000 in local government grants.