MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Firstly my apologies to everyone for not sending out a communiqué in the past two months. Needless to say it has been an extremely busy time and below provides an overview that will explain where the time has gone.
Dean Burton and I attended a meeting with the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mia Davies in late September. We were provided the opportunity to explain to the Minister our sports strengths, challenges and the positives softball can provide to the WA community. She welcomed our growth and offered advocacy in the regions and encouraged our continued partnership with the Department of Sport and Recreation.
The Strategic planning review continues to build momentum. SGL Consulting Group received 49 completed surveys and a large number of members that hold a variety of positions within the Softball WA community have committed to personal interviews to help shape the sport for everyone for the future.
Dean Burton and Milosa Jackson attended the SAL AGM in early October. They also participated in a number of workshops along with Shane Hughes and Nathan Jones who represented SWA in the High Performance area. At the November Board Meeting your Directors held a Skype session with Softball Australia Chairman, John Hollingsworth where a number of questions were put to him around the direction of the sports current finances, servicing members and how SWA can host international competitions in the future.
The Softball WA AGM was be held on Sunday 25 October 2015, where over 50% of member clubs and associations attended and asked a number of questions of the Directors. I am proud to advise that a further two life members were voted into prestigious company. Please help me welcome and congratulate Julie Richardson and Allan Collings as Life Members of Softball WA for their outstanding contribution to sport.
Your Participation and Development Officer, Saskia Kosterink has been busy working with a variety of schools in the metro area, along with attending the Ngurra Kujungka festival (West Pilbara) in late September to provide specialised coaching to over 150 aboriginal players who participated in the annual carnival. She has also been working towards building the Sporting Schools program which will expose more Primary School aged children to Softball.
Softball WA had the privilege of hosting the Raffles Institute from Singapore for the second time. Two Under15 and one Under 13 boy’s teams participated in coaching clinics with the Western Blaze players and played a host of games against our WA state teams. The correspondence received stated everyone had a good time and they are looking to host a Softball WA team in the future.
The female state teams led by their respective Head Coaches have completed high performance testing with Dr Sophia Nimphius and her team from Edith Cowan University. Athletes participated in a number of tests and the intention is that they will be tracked over the coming years to see improvements in performance. The current information from the testing has been valuable to state coaches as it helps prepare our current athletes training programs and loads, while also providing that additional piece of information that will help them better manage their team on the diamond.
Edith Cowan have also recently added three new camera’s to diamond one which will allow for biomechanical analysis of our athletes in game situations. Furthermore, we hope to be able to use this equipment for live streaming games on the web into the future.
Softball WA is leading the nation in registration of My Softball community. We currently have 87% of our previous summer participants registered on-line and a massive thank you goes out to all Club and Association registrars and players for embracing this new registration method. A very special thank you goes to Sharon Perkins. Her leadership and drive has been a significant reason for this successful change period.
Softball WA are also leading the charge with the migration to the new Fox Sports Pulse website. Softball WA are due to go live with the new web site in the month of December. The next phase will be for all associations and clubs to migrate their current web sites over to the new provider or take the opportunity to develop a website with initial assistance provided by Softball Australia if required.
One of our very new partners, Skill Hire have provided our Participation and Development a co-branded car to assist getting to schools and clinics across Perth. A big thank you should go to Skill Hire as you shouldn’t miss this car which has the bright yellow softballs on the back windscreen. Skill Hire provide labour hire, group training and private advertising over a range of industries. In addition, if you are looking for a traineeship or apprenticeship in the future, please contact CEO Dean Burton to put you in touch with our friends at Skill Hire.
Dean Burton, Evelyn Harvey and I with the Western Blaze travelled to Geraldton to meet with their Board and discuss their position on affiliation and provide their members the understanding of the benefits of affiliating.. Evelyn facilitated a level one statisticians clinic and the Western Blaze held junior and senior clinics before playing a double header against a combined association side.
SWA are looking to reinvigorate our junior participation and recreate the “Underage Club championships”. Early into the new year clubs and associations will have the opportunity to vie to host the 2016 club championships. Any interest should be emailed to the SWA Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
The preparation for the U17 Boys Nationals to be held at the Mirrabooka International Softball Stadium from 3 – 9 January 2016, is well under way with Donna Powell (Titheradge) Tournament convener in charge. Should anyone wish to volunteer for a role, please email the SWA office.
On behalf Dean, the office staff and your Directors I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Gary Butler, Chairman – Softball WA.