Softball Australia is excited to announce a camp in Canberra next year that will help to develop the next generation of male softball stars.
The camp will be held in April and will see the Junior Steelers, Australia’s Under 19 Men’s team, joined by a number of other identified male athletes outside of the U19 age group, to develop and prepare them for potential future international opportunities.
The players will have the experience of living and training in an elite environment, with the camp being held at the Australian Institute of Sport.
This will serve as ideal preparation for the Junior Steelers, who will travel to Canada a few months later to play at the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, from 7-15 July.
The camp also provides an opportunity for other players currently outside of the Aussie Steelers squad to develop their skills and show their future potential.
Laing Harrow, Head Coach of the Aussie Steelers and Junior Steelers, will lead the camp and be assisted by a number of men’s coaches. Harrow says this is a great opportunity to develop men’s softball in Australia.
“I’m really looking forward to bringing the Junior Steelers together for the first time at the AIS in preparation for the World Championships in July,” Harrow says.
“This camp is giving us the ability to bring in our elite coaches to work together along with potential future Steeler players and the junior team for further development.”
After the silver-medal winning achievements of the Aussie Steelers at the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Canada, next year will be a quieter year for the open men.
The Aussie Steelers players have committed a significant amount of time and money over the past 12 months. The players work to make a living and committed a considerable amount of their annual leave to play at the world championship. They also made substantial financial contributions to represent their country.
Such has been the contributions made by these players over the past 12 months that a number of athletes are unavailable to play at the 2018 Open Men’s National Softball Championship in Canberra in January.
In July earlier this year, Softball New Zealand invited the Aussie Steelers to play at the 2018 Challenge Cup tournament in Auckland. Softball Australia never confirmed at any stage that the Aussie Steelers would attend, knowing that the players would struggle to be able to make themselves available, both from a financial and time off work perspective.
However, an article was published in July in the New Zealand media that indicated the Aussie Steelers would be attending: https://www-alpha.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/95184580/black-sox-to-meet-world-championships-final-foe-australia-again-in-international-softball-arena
Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles apologised to Softball Australia after the article was published.
Softball Australia recently made a final decision not to attend the 2018 Challenge Cup, keeping the best interests of the players in mind, despite Softball New Zealand’s hopes that the Aussie Steelers would attend.
Softball Australia looks forward in 2018 to focusing on developing our next generation of male softball stars.