The Waverley Softball Association is located in Melbourne and consists of 8 clubs with approximately 400 members, making it one of the biggest associations in Victoria.
After more than 20 years of fundraising and tireless efforts of current and previous committees, the Waverley Softball Association, with tremendous support from the City of Monash, now have international standard lighting installed on Diamond 2. The new lights will be officially and proudly unveiled at their upcoming Waverley Strike Out Breast Cancer event on Saturday 26 November.
Moira Teichert, Waverley President, said the new lights were crucial, “Our current lighting on Diamond 1 is about 30 years old. When originally installed, they were suitable for international competition; I remember watching Australia play Chinese Taipei back in 1985 during the South Pacific Classic. But those lights no longer meet the national and international softball lighting standards and as a result, we have not been able to bid for national tournaments.” Another reason why the new lights are important is that the club rooms were redeveloped several years ago making Diamond 2 their showcase diamond for special events.
With the new international standard lights installed, Waverley Softball Association has big plans. “We will now be able to offer Waverley as a location for major national tournaments. We will be able to offer more training opportunities at night during our competition season, since we have two spaces that can be lit up; we can offer training at the same time as competition night games; we can also hold more night games in the week. In fact, on Tuesday 6 December we are hosting the Victorian Men’s League for two night games on Diamond 2 and at the same time there will be two women’s games on Diamond 1. We hope to make this a bit of a night out for our members and the community to come watch some great softball under lights!”
There will also be scope for the association to introduce new programs and competitions such as Social 7s under lights to run concurrently with the summer season providing another competition format for members and, hopefully, an opportunity to attract and recruit new members.
The association and City of Monash each contributed $125,000 toward the installation cost of project and the City of Monash also covered the pre-installation costs. The City of Monash managed the project, from the initial feasibility studies and site investigations through the planning stage, tender process and installation. “It has certainly taken a long time to build up sufficient funding, and we have been helped in no small measure by the City of Monash. In the 2014-15 Financial Year, they called for applications from sports clubs for sports grounds lighting, offering a substantial percentage contribution of the costs to successful applicants. We thank the City of Monash for all their support throughout the whole process, which wouldn’t have been possible without them.” said Moira.
The Waverley Strike Out Breast Cancer event on Saturday 26 November plans to be a memorable and momentous occasion for the association.
“We have invited the Mayor of the City of Monash to switch on the lights, and we have organised an exhibition game to be played, a replay of the Open 1 (A Grade) grand final from last year. We have sent invitations to life members, past presidents, our sponsors, City of Monash, Softball Victoria and Softball Australia. We have also invited the Premier of Victoria and the Minister for Sport in Victoria.”
Affiliated clubs of the Waverley Softball Association will decorate the club rooms in pink and set up and run fundraising activities; there will be cake and other merchandise stalls, a sausage sizzle and raffles. All teams are welcome to dress up in pink and decorate their home diamonds. Even the umpires will wear pink shirts and the line markings for the day will also be pink. All funds raised will be donated to the Breast Cancer Network.