SOFTBALL RETURNS TO WHANGĀREI AFTER 20-YEAR HIATUS
North Harbour Softball Association (NHSA) is thrilled to announce softball will return to Whangārei in summer after a 20-year hiatus.
In partnership with NHSA, Whangārei Softball Association (WGSA) becomes the newest affiliate of Softball New Zealand as the sport re-establishes its home in the heart of Northland once again.
General Manager of NHSA, David Gillanders, says: “We’re excited to partner with WGSA to further develop softball as a preferred summer sport in Northland.
“There’s a strong cohort of eager softballers in Whangārei which has been steadily increasing over the past few years.
“We’re pleased to be working alongside some passionate locals who have been working hard to get WGSA up and running. This will provide further wellbeing and physical activity opportunities for tamariki, rangatahi and seniors of the sport across the region.
“WGSA will have access to the support of our Development Officers and administrators who will assist with the delivery of schools and representative team development programmes in the area.
“We’re looking forward to working with WGSA to support the growth, capability and sustainability of the Association and can’t wait to see the positive community outcomes this new partnership will bring.”
Driving force behind the revitalisation of WGSA, Danielle Barlow, says: “I’d like to thank NHSA for the support and guidance provided to us as we navigate through reestablishing Whangārei Softball Association.
“In recent years, our four softball clubs have been playing in the Bay of Islands Softball Senior Fast Pitch competition.
“It’s now an exciting time where we can re-establish the Whangārei Association which, 20 years ago, was massive and create more local opportunities for our communities to get amongst.
“The main driver for us is to deliver softball locally for our tamariki. In Whangārei, there’s plenty of natural talent and skill within our tamariki and we’re looking forward to fostering this talent – in a place where it can be developed with the support of NHSA.
“Our kaupapa is all about whānau – we want to provide a space for our community to come together and get active. Softball is a game for everyone - young and old. Being part of a sport where you have generations playing together, sharing knowledge, and keeping active is a privilege.
“We aim to be as affordable as possible to ensure everyone can participate. We know fees and access to gear can sometimes create barriers for tamariki which is why fundraising is an important part of what we do.
“With the awhi from NHSA, we feel confident in giving this a go, making the sacrifices and providing local opportunities for everyone to engage in one of the best summer sports there is.”
Brent Eastwood, CEO of Sport Northland says: “We are excited to see the new Whangārei Softball Association up and running and providing opportunities for people to be involved with softball again.
“Sport Northland works collaboratively to connect providers and to align them to be participant-centred with the overall aim of increasing quality participation opportunities, experiences and support, and we look forward to having the Whangārei Softball Association as part of this network.”
Softball New Zealand CEO, Tony Giles, says: “It’s fantastic to see the game of softball expand in Northland and we’re delighted to welcome Whangārei Softball Association on board as an affiliate via NHSA.
“Our ‘One Softball’ strategy is all about empowering communities to collaborate and provide exciting and positive experiences for everyone involved in the game. This partnership announced today between NHSA and WGSA embodies exactly that so we’re very much looking forward to what will be achieved in Whangārei in the coming years.”
The softball season in Whangārei will commence on the 29th October 2022.
WGSA is inviting expressions of interest from those interested in taking up the sport of softball.
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