Softball Australia inducts Life Members and Hall of Fame Members at Annual General Meeting

Softball Australia inducts Life Members and Hall of Fame Members at Annual General Meeting

Softball Australia has capped a successful 2018 with the induction of two Life Members and three Hall of Fame Members at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 13 October. In both categories, the awards and their recipients highlight years of commitment, dedication and service to the game, both on and off the field of play.

In making the Life Membership announcements, Softball Australia Chairman, John Hollingsworth, congratulated the recipients as an overview of each person’s achievements was provided by Margo Koskelainen OAM, Softball Australia Honorary Historian. Life Membership is the highest honour bestowed on an individual member and represents their longstanding and valued service to softball in Australia.

Softball Australia is pleased to announce that Ngaire Huston (Qld) and Debbie Grove (Vic) have been awarded Life Membership, and Jodie Bowering (Qld), Jeff Goolagong (ACT) and Neal Delpero (WA) on their Hall of Fame induction.

Ngaire Huston (Qld) – Life Member

Ngaire has made a significant contribution to softball in Australia over a period of 23 years. She is a Level 6 Statistician and the current Softball Australia Chief Statistician since 2012 (6 years).

She has been a member of the National Scoring Committee since 1995 until the present day. During that time, Ngaire has also served as a member of the National Quality Assurance Committee and Manager of the Level 4 Scoring exam since 2005 (13 years).

Achievements

>  Open Men’s team statistician (five years), attending ISF World Championships in 2000 and 2004

>  U19 Men’s team statistician at ISF Junior Men’s World Championships in 1994 and 1997

>  Official statistician at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games

In 2013 Ngaire was inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame having participated in Open International competition for at least six year, including at least two ISF Open World Championships. She has always demonstrated the highest personal standard of sportsmanship and integrity.

 

Debbie Grove (Vic) – Life Member

Debbie has been an active umpire for over 30 years, from the grassroots to the international stage. Whilst she has excelled with the Australian Umpiring ranks personally, her real service has been to the national umpiring program, with a focus on the Development portfolio.

Debbie’s contribution has been significant, joining the National Umpiring Committee in 2007. She has continued to provide exceptional service to our sport over an extended period.

Training and development are the cornerstones of any program, from writing and implementing policies and procedures, to delivering training courses. The impact of such is significant as it shapes the entire organisation from the novice to the international umpire. Debbie’s 11 years of service to the National Umpiring Committee has been influential in setting and maintaining the standards of the organisation. From the boardroom to the ball park, Debbie has impacted the program. In addition to all her governance responsibilities, Debbie continues to take on the active roles of Tournament Chief Umpire and assessor. This makes her accessible to the umpiring community at all levels. A respected umpire and mentor, Debbie’s ability to transition between administrator and teacher seem effortless. She is highly respected by players, coaches and officials and is valued as both a friend and mentor by her colleagues.

Along with this incredibly high level of commitment and dedication to service, Debbie has also excelled as an on-diamond umpire. With over 25 international appointments, including five ISF World Championships and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, her 16 years on the international stage saw her inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame in 2013. When it comes to contributors to the National Umpiring Program both past and present, few people stand beside Debbie. Her commitment over an extended period has been significant and has impacted the program with distinction. She is an asset to the Australian National Umpiring Program.

 

Jodie Bowering (Qld) – Hall of Fame

Jodie was a member of the Australian Open Women’s team from 2007 to 2014. Player number 240, she played 175 games for the Aussie Spirit.

Jodie made the AIS Squad in 2007, which led to her selection for the Australian Open Women’s team. She made her debut for Australia in 2007 at the China/Australia Challenge in her home state, Queensland, and she didn’t take long to make her mark on the game, hitting a home run in her first game. After only 12 months in the AIS squad, Jodie made the 2008 Olympic team which won a bronze medal. Jodie was a dedicated athlete. She was often known to train six days a week. A natural left hander, she was well known for her ability to change a game with one swing of the bat.

Awards

2009    Open Women – Most Valuable Player
2013    Open Women – Most Valuable Player and Best Batter

Tournaments

2007    Test Series v China, Brisbane, Test Series v Italy, Test Series v Netherlands, China Cup, Japan Cup, Japan Elite Challenge
2008    International Challenge, Canada Tour, Beijing Olympic Games
2009    Canada Cup, Vancouver, USA World Cup, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Japan Cup
2010    Test Series v New Zealand, Test Series v Japan, ISF XII Women’s Worlds Championship, Caracas, Venezuela
2011    Test Series v New Zealand, Canada Cup, Vancouver, USA World Cup, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2012    Test Series v New Zealand, International Challenge Series v Japan, USA World Cup, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Canadian Open Fastpitch, ISF XIII Women’s World Championship, Whitehorse, Canada
2013    USA World Cup, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Canadian Open Fastpitch
2014    ISF XIV Women’s World Championship, Haarlem, Netherlands

 

Jeff Goolagong (ACT) – Hall of Fame

Jeff has had a long and distinguished career, representing ACT for 12 years. During that time, ACT won nine Open Men’s National Championships.

Jeff first represented Australia in 2001 at the Trans-Tasman Challenge in ACT. Player number 59, he represented the Aussie Steelers on 110 occasions.

Jeff was well known for his versatility as a Short Stop/Utility. There have been many highlights in his playing career, but one of his greatest achievements was being a member of the Australian Open Men’s team that won the 2009 ISF World Championship in Canada.

Awards

2001    Aussie Steelers – Most Valuable Player (on debut)
2009   Open Men – Most Valuable Player
2012    Open Men – Player of the Grand Final
2013    Open Men – Most Valuable Player and Best Batter

Tournaments

2001    Trans-Tasman Challenge v New Zealand, (Canberra), Doreen Dalton Memorial (New Zealand), Test Series v New Zealand (New Zealand)
2003    Dean Schick Memorial (New Zealand), Tri-series New (Zealand)
2004    Hawker International Tri-Series, 11th ISF World Championship (New Zealand)
2005    Vic Guth Tournament (New Zealand), Pacific Series (New Zealand)
2006    Commonwealth Championship (Melbourne)
2008    ISF World Championship Qualifier (New Zealand)
2009    12th ISF World Championship (Canada)
2011    ISF World Championship Qualifier (Canberra)
2013    13th ISF World Championship (New Zealand)

 

Neal Delpero (WA) – Hall of Fame

Neal had a long and distinguished career, representing Western Australia for 19 years. During that time, Western Australia won four Open Men’s National Championships.

Neil first represented Australia in 1995 at a Test Series against New Zealand. Player number 38, he represented Australia on 60 occasions.

One of the highlights of Neal’s career was claiming the win as a Pitcher over the New Zealand Blacksox in the 4th Test Match in the 2001 Tran Tasman Series. This was the first time the Aussie Steelers defeated New Zealand.

Awards

1992    U19 Men – Pitching Award
1993    U19 Men – Pitching Award
1994    U19 Men – Pitching Award
2002   Open Men – Pitching Award and Most Valuable Player
2012    Open Men – Pitching Award

Tournaments

1995    New Zealand Provisional Championship, Test Series v New Zealand
1996    Perth Shootout v Canada, 9th ISF World Championship (USA)
2001    Doreen Dalton Memorial (New Zealand), Test Series v New Zealand
2003    Tri-series New (Zealand)
2004    Hawker International Tri-Series, 11th ISF World Championship (New Zealand)
2005    Vic Guth Tournament (New Zealand), Pacific Series (New Zealand)
2011    World Cup Qualifier – Argentina
2014    Test Series v New Zealand