Kirsty Andrews will keep track of the Travelodge Aussie Spirit and their opponents at the WBSC Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifier after being selected as an Event Statistician by the sports governing body for next week’s tournament.
Andrews, who already holds her own slice of softball history as the youngest ever to receive her Level 2 Scorers Accreditation at the age of 10, also becomes the first Australian to be selected by the WBSC in an Event Statistician role.
“It is very exciting for both myself and the sport,” said Andrews who leaves for Shanghai on Saturday.
“A lot of people within the sport have worked very hard to get softball back in the Olympics and to help fulfill players and officials dreams of attending an Olympic event.”
The appointment presents a terrific opportunity for Andrews to not only learn from the experience, but also put her hand up for her own Olympic statistician selection.
All officials appointed by the WBSC to the Qualifiers held around the world will be on the radar for selection for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“I have always wanted to attend an Olympics but knowing team scorers aren’t taken, I knew it would have to be as an Official Statistician, the prospect
that it could still happen is very exciting.”
Andrews will take a wealth of experience over to China in her role. After starting as a scorer at such a young age, she has since been involved with state teams shortly followed by Australian appointments so won’t be lacking confidence at the international level.
“I have been involved in softball from a young age, my family were all involved so I just followed suit,” added Andrews.
“My love for the sport never waived and eventually I was appointed to my first Queensland team followed by appointment to an Australian team, I’ve been to four world championships with the Australian U19 Women’s team but this will be my first event as an Official Statistician appointed by WBSC.
“I love working as part of a team and am looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
When queried if she’ll be sharing in the nervous energy no doubt held by a number of the nations looking to qualify for the Olympics, Andrews says there’ll be a different kind of buzz when it comes to game time amongst her fellow Statisticians.
“For me, I don’t know any other statisticians attending the event as yet, so the anticipation of meeting and working with new people and the possible language barriers is very exciting but nerve-wracking at the same time.
“Also WBSC scores differently to how we score in Australia so that in itself is also a bit daunting to start with.
“I think I’m most excited about meeting other statisticians, experiencing the Chinese culture and learning the behind the scenes at a WBSC event.
“We haven’t been fortunate to experience a WBSC event so for me, it will be interesting to learn their processes and see what I can bring back to the Australian Scoring Program.”
The appointment of Andrews to an event of this calibre sends a great message to Australian Officials from the WBSC.
It’s something Andrews hopes will lead to more appointments of Down Under representatives and said she’s looking forward to leaving a good impression with the governing body and strengthen the ties between them and her home country.
“We have some very talented, experienced statisticians in Australia, I have no doubt that in the future we will have many more statisticians appointed to WBSC events.
“It is a great honour and one that doesn’t come around every day. Hopefully I can represent Australian Statisticians well and we’ll be able to get some additional appointments in the near future.”