Returning to the Olympic fold will only boost a sport that already has an active participation base.
Softball Australia is the national governing body for softball in Australia and has an ongoing commitment to promote the sport as a healthy, safe and socially inclusive activity. The organisation consists of 95 associations, 496 clubs, 26,211 registered members and more than 143,000 participants.
There are exciting times ahead for the softball with the recent announcement that it has been reinstated in the Olympics. The journey now commences to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
A number of participation program are available for people of all ages, cultures, gender and ability, including Softball Australia’s national junior recruitment program Softball Batter Up and the national school program, Sporting Schools. There's also Social 7s, Softball Australia’s slowpitch version of softball that is fast, fun and easy to play.
Softball Australia also employs a dedicated development co-ordinator for clubs and assocations in each state. The Homeplate portal has provided an excellent resource to grassroots administrators.
Another interesting fact about softball is that it is the most preferred sport for indigenous women, particularly from remote communities throughout Australia. In 2015-16, more than 4000 Indigenous participants were involved in Softball Australia’s Indigenous Softball Program. Also of note: three players in the Aussie Spirit womens' team are Indigenous, including captain and champion batter Stacey Porter, classy pitcher Vanessa Stokes and talented outfielder Janice Blackman.
For further information about Softball Australia, visit www.softball.org.au