23 July 2021
Softball NZ and Ballpark Broadcasting have entered into a broadcast partnership for the 2021/22 season, ensuring all Softball NZ National Tournaments will be streamed live.
The partnership agreement involves a new level of collaboration with both Softball NZ and Ballpark Broadcasting working closely to support and promote the game throughout the country.
For the first time, the national body will stream all events free to air, including the White Sox Quad Series and the Division 1 Secondary School competition.
In an exciting development, 7 national events will also be simultaneously broadcast on the Sky Sport Next platform.
Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles said “This is an exciting deal for the softball community and sports fans alike, and highlights the on-going commitment from Softball NZ to growing our game”.
“It ensures every national age-grade tournament, NFC, and open championship event receives the same level of broadcast quality and production” says Giles.
“We have worked closely over the past 12 weeks to get to this position and I believe the Ballpark Broadcasting deal supplements perfectly the existing Sky Sport relationship and the Fastball 45 National League” says Giles.
Ballpark Broadcasting Managing Director, Jason Gerbes says” It’s simply fantastic to formally cement a multimedia partnership with Softball NZ, which has been the result of continued exposure the last 4 seasons”.
“It’s no secret that Softball holds a special place in my heart, but more importantly now we have the vehicle to promote the game all the way from grassroots to our elite athletes of the Golden Homes Black Sox and Sky Sport White Sox superstars” says Gerbes.
House of Travel (Christchurch City) have been confirmed as the Softball NZ contracted travel partner.
“We are thrilled to partner House of Travel, a partner who wants to help get our great game moving locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally" says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.
“The tourism sector has faced considerable adversity during pandemic times, and this partnership is testament to David and his respected team of experienced consultants, and their significant can-do attitude, in supporting our grassroots game” says Giles.
Locally Christchurch owned and operated for 25 years, House of Travel Christchurch City is an award winning travel company.
House of Travel Managing Director, David Williams says “House of Travel is proud to be associated with Softball NZ and their wider community”.
“We are excited about partnering with a fun and ambitious organisation, and House of Travel wants to help Softball NZ achieve their goals” says Williams.
The new fiscal partnership provides House of Travel exclusivity of travel arrangements to Softball NZ and its pathway teams for the next three years.
SNZ has confirmed the National Female Battery Programme (NFBP) will be supported by Jetts Fitness.
“We are delighted to have Jetts join our organisation in supporting our female athletes in this critical area of our game" says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.
“Identified pitchers and catchers will have the ability to activate their fitness and wellness goals throughout the Jetts network at both local, and national locations” says Giles.
Jetts Fitness have over 50 clubs throughout New Zealand with 24/7 access, expert trained staff, and flexible memberships to suit your lifestyle.
Jetts Marketing Manager Jana Hurley says “Our vision is to help athletes and everyday people of all ages and abilities to stay healthier, fitter, happier and strive to reach their individual potential”.
“We hope through our state of the art facilities players can improve agility, strength, balance and injury prevention, as well as build their confidence on the field. Together with Softball NZ we look forward to promoting a lifelong love of physical activity both on and off the field for all New Zealanders” says Hurley.
The new partnership includes a special discounted membership offer to the Softball NZ affiliated membership.
Softball NZ has confirmed Fastball 45 will be supported by Tradestaff.
“We are thrilled to have a partner who wants to help us grow the game and support pathways that give talented young athletes an opportunity to represent their communities in this exciting national league format," says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.
Tradestaff are a 100% New Zealand owned and operated company who have been providing industrial recruitment solutions nationwide for over 25 years.
Tradestaff Managing Director Kevin Eder says: “We’re excited to further engage with the softball community of New Zealand, many of whom have supported and worked for Tradestaff over the last 25 years.”
“It’s a truly grassroots sport and fits our family and community values like a glove” says Eder.
The new partnership gives Tradestaff naming rights to Fastball 45 for the next two years.
Fastball 45 will again be broadcast by Sky Sport and commences its four week programme in Christchurch, from November 20-21.
9 June 2021
Softball NZ has entered into an exciting new partnership with Temperzone.
Temperzone Group is a leading manufacturer, distributor and exporter of air conditioning and ventilation equipment throughout Oceania and Asia. Proudly New Zealand owned and with over 500 employees across the group with office locations in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and Shanghai.
“Following a hiatus in 2020 due to the global pandemic, we are delighted to once again be partnering with Les Kendall and the wonderful team at Temperzone”, says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.
“The support is truly inspiring and provides clarity for the junior pathway as we look to build towards the 2023 Junior Men's World Cup” says Giles.
Temperzone Managing Director Les Kendall says ”Temperzone is proud to be associated with such professional organisation doing good things with our youth players”.
The new 2 year partnership will see Temperzone align itself to the Jarrad Martin led Junior Black Sox programme, as well as naming rights partner to the U17 Boys National Championship.
21 April 2021
Another 10 national sporting bodies have joined NZ Cricket, NZ Football, Hockey NZ, Netball NZ and NZ Rugby NZ in backing the Balance is Better Statement of Intent first announced in September 2019.
They will join the collective and individual action underway to keep young people in sport by putting a stronger focus on fun and development, reviewing existing competition structures and encouraging youth to play multiple sports rather than specialising too early.
The new sports are Athletics NZ, Badminton NZ, Basketball NZ, Golf NZ, Gymnastics NZ, NZ Rugby League, Softball NZ, Touch NZ, Volleyball NZ and Waka Ama NZ.
Sport NZ Chief Executive Raelene Castle says it is great to see these sports formally commit to these important changes.
“We need to change what is offered and how we engage with young people. There needs to be quality opportunities for all participants, not just the best players.”
“Sport is a huge part of our society and important for the wellbeing of so many New Zealanders, however the way sport is delivered has not kept up with what young people are looking for. We know that because they’re telling us and many are also walking away.”
“The original five sports have done some excellent work and we now have ten more making this important commitment. This is another encouraging day for youth sport in New Zealand,” says Raelene Castle.
The commitments outlined in the Statement of Intent are:
24 May 2019
Softball NZ today announced a multi-year partnership extension with Golden Homes which has been extended until 2022.
“SNZ is proud of our long-term relationship with Golden Homes”, says Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles.
Golden Homes have worked hard to stay one step ahead of the game and are now recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading home build companies. “It’s those same values that drive the Black Sox to world-class sporting success.” Says Giles.
This extension phase will see Golden Homes remain as the organisation, and Black Sox naming rights partner, as well as extending their support to talent identification by recently establishing the Softball New Zealand Centurions Trust, for aspiring U15 & U18 gender inclusive pathway talent.
Homes Managing Director Shane Helms says “We are proud to partner with Softball NZ and the 7 time world champion Black Sox. The group continue to set the benchmark for sporting excellence in New Zealand and we are delighted to be a part of their incredible journey,” says Helms.
The Golden Homes Black Sox depart Sunday, May 26 for a series of international games prior to the commencement of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship, June 13-23, Prague, Czech Republic.
17 October, 2018
Below are results for the VOP Club Experience Survey undertaken earlier this year.
The purpose of the project was to understand what is important to players and how clubs are performing. The results of the report have allowed Softball New Zealand to understand the club experience of our members over the 2017/18 season.
Softball members nationwide had the opportunity to participate, with adults aged 16+ completing the questionnaire themselves and parents/guardians completing the questionnaire for children under the age of 16, on behalf of their child.
The survey was carried out by Nielsen, an independent research company on behalf of Softball New Zealand and Sport New Zealand.
24 April, 2018
Softball NZ welcomes new commercial partner ELE Group to the softball family.
ELE Group is a family owned and operated company who manage strategic portfolios in recruitment, logistics, construction, and risk management.
Group Managing Director Brent Mulholland has an affiliation with the game and sees similarities between the ethos of ELE Group and that of Softball NZ.
“We are an organization that aligns entirely to the needs of our people and their communities, and this is a position of strength for ELE that I also see in Softball NZ and its own community”, says Mulholland.
“It was an easy decision for us as people are at the core of our decisions in everything we do”. “Softball NZ have strong leadership who are building pathways for its national athletes to compete on the world stage against significant barriers such as funding, geographical location, and competition, yet they continue to perform on so many levels. This is something we relate to” says Mulholland.
The partnership will see ELE Group as the naming rights partner to ELE Stadium at Rosedale Park, Albany and includes the 2021 WBSC Men’s World Cup.
Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles says the relationship is a natural fit.
ELE Group has organizational values that focus on Growing Together, Keeping it Real, and Building Tomorrow Today. “
“This is where I see significant benefit for the softball community” Says Giles. “Like Principal Partner Golden Homes, this new relationship will see ELE work with Softball NZ in an advisory role for mutual benefit to both organizations”.
The multiyear 6 figure partnership commences June 1, 2018.
|Softball New Zealand are very excited to announce the affiliation of Bay of Islands to the softball family.
Softball ceased in the far north some 18 years ago but through a number of passionate volunteers committed to the future of their tamariki softball has since been revived.
Mel and Del Rameka are modern day pioneers of softball in the north, they have worked tirelessly over the last 3 years to reconnect softball to the schools and community. Mel and Del are well supported by a working committee of Feron Rogers, Suzee Ross, Trisha Vaka, Cynthia Beattie, Joe Henare and Anne Stillwell who have grown from 15 teams in 2014/15 to 20 teams in 2017/18.
The game has largely grown on the back of preseason road shows. The 14 day events take in 24 schools, 2 schools per day targeting 35-60+ kids per session covering basic drills, skills and fundamentals providing children a taste of the game.
“We have been doing this for the past 3 years and have found that this works for us and is our form of development, as the interest for the game from the kids, teachers/ parents is over whelming.” Says Bay Of Island Softball Secretary, Del Rameka.
|“Our goal 3yrs ago when we formed, was to eventually register with Softball NZ so we can expose and open those pathways for our young ones to see the reality that softball has to offer. After gradually building softball we feel we are now ready to take the next step with our juniors (10-18yrs) and introduce them to another level of softball.
Over the past 3 years we have been entering teams into the NZ Navy tournament. Every year our numbers with children wanting to play and experience this tournament has been massive.
Softball here in the Northland has turned into a real whanau orientated sport with parents, Nans, papa's, aunts, uncles, cuzzy's and older siblings turning up to either coach our children or just to support.” Says Del.
|Following the recent successful partnership extensions with Golden Homes and Temperzone, Softball NZ is to celebrate yet another outstanding commercial partnership.
TAB has signed on as principal naming rights partner to the 2018 Challenge Cup.
The inaugural Challenge Cup was held in February of this year and Softball NZ are now seeking to sustain momentum for men’s fastpitch softball on home soil following the tremendous success of the Golden Homes Black Sox at the recent WBSC Men’s Softball World Championships.
Softball NZ CEO, Tony Giles says “the TAB partnership is a significant milestone for our organisation and provides real opportunity to showcase the Golden Homes Black Sox against the best talent the world has to offer”.
Softball NZ has also taken the opportunity to develop next generation talent by announcing the NZ U23 Major Sox will feature in the 2018 TAB Challenge Cup.
“The opportunity to identify and feature young aspiring New Zealand talent in the same event as the 7 times World Champions is incredibly exciting for the sport” says Giles.
Television schedules and International Federation line-ups are to be finalised the TAB Challenge Cup sets to be an extremely competitive event. The Australian Steelers have been invited in what will see a repeat of their epic encounter from Whitehorse last July. The NZ Black Sox defeated Australia 6-4 to win their seventh men’s world softball crown.
NZ Racing Board Head of Strategic Partnerships, Rowan Swain says “the recent Black Sox world champion success made TAB's continued support very compelling and something the TAB were looking forward to adding to TAB's partnership programme.
The TAB Challenge Cup will take place on February 7-11 at Rosedale Park, Albany.
Softball New Zealand CEO Tony Giles is pleased to announce that Travis White is the new High Performance Director.
Travis brings a wealth of experience to the role including Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and non-Olympic management skills.
For the past 5 years Travis has held a lead management role as Program Manager & Advisor – High Performance Sport New Zealand and provides expertise in areas such HP Investment, Campaign Strategy, Support Programs, and Elite Talent Pathway Development.
Travis holds a Masters of Management, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Physical Education and is excited by his opportunity in joining Softball New Zealand.
Travis will commence his position with us Monday, September 11.
19 July, 2017
Softball New Zealand would like to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to a number of people on the back of the Golden Homes Black Sox amazing 7th world title.
Jason Gerbes (Chopper), our man on the mic. Thank you for your efforts, not just the game commentary but the player, coach interviews and passion carried throughout the world championships. The call to commentate the gold medal game was deserved recognition and a true honour. We would also like to thank the Ball Park Broadcasting Crew for inviting Jason to be part of the team and continuing to promote the game through their outstanding work.
Casey-Leigh McMaster, Paul Aitu and Amanda Rona our photographers on the ground. Without these three we would not have been able to capture the Black Sox journey. Our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels wouldn’t have had the traffic it has had without the content you have generously provided. Your support has allowed us to feed national media with images to promote the Golden Homes Black Sox and their success across New Zealand.
SOX NATION, your ongoing and passionate support for our national teams is second to none. The uncompromising support for our mighty Black Sox is a true reflection of the family values we hold dearly. Continue to fight the fight and promote our game where you can and be proud of our brand and national teams.
Golden Homes and High Performance Sport New Zealand, thank you for your ongoing generosity and support. Your willingness to support our national team is a key component in allowing the Black Sox to do what they do – win titles. Thank you to BLK, Loaded and Bene Sports Medical for your magnificent support, you are all valued members of the softball family
Golden Homes Black Sox, 7 x CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!! You are the flagship of our sport and carry the fight wherever you play. An unprecedented 7 world titles is mind blowing, something that other codes are unable to comprehend. Thank you for your work ethic and drive to be the best team on the planet!
We would also like to say a few words regarding comments made on social media re lack of TV broadcasting of the 2017 Men’s World Championships. The championships were not broadcast by any TV network in Canada and therefore the feed was unable to be picked up by SKY TV or any other media outlet. Softball NZ were in discussion with SKY TV several months ago in regards to relaying the live streaming feed. However, it was decided that the quality of streaming from Sports Canada TV was not fit for purpose. SKY TV has been very supportive of Softball in New Zealand particularly with the coverage of the TAB Challenge Cup last February. Discussions are underway for the broadcasting of the Cup in 2018.
Once again thank you for all of your support.
Softball New Zealand.
New Zealand Black Sox World Champions: 76, 84, 96, 00, 04, 13, 17
New Zealand White Sox World Champions: 82
New Zealand Junior Black Sox World Champions: 85, 89
12 July, 2017
|Following the successful release of the Golden Homes Black Sox partnership extension, Softball NZ (SNZ) are delighted to announce a new 2 year agreement with Temperzone.
Temperzone will continue their successful relationship with the New Zealand Junior Black Sox through to the completion of the 2018 WBSC U19 Junior Men’s World Championship in Prince Albert, Canada.
SNZ CEO Tony Giles stated that as the relationship with Temperzone enters its third championship campaign management can now plan a full assault on going one better in 2018 after finishing 2nd to Japan in Michigan 2016.
"Valued partners such as Les Kendall and the entire Temperzone family are paramount to our success at international pinnacle events" said Giles.
"The New Zealand male programme is now officially ranked the number 1 programme in the world and this success could not be achieved without the wonderful support of Temperzone" said Giles.
|The Junior Black Sox have grown to become a major threat internationally since the partnership deal was signed in 2014.
The Thomas Makea and Jarrad Martin led Junior Black Sox have just returned from the Australian U23 State Championships in Brisbane.
Les Kendall (Temperzone CEO) says “there has been a strong relationship between Softball New Zealand and Temperzone. The conduct and professionalism of the Softball New Zealand organisation and the players is something we admire at Temperzone, and it has given us the confidence and belief to back the team for a third shot at the Title.
It has been really satisfying as well to see some amazingly talented young players to have the opportunity to be developed throughout Softball New Zealand's programme and to go on to bigger and better things as their career develops”.
Temperzone is a NZ based designer, manufacturer and exporter of advanced air conditioning and environmental systems, and we compete against massive global corporations, so we are in a similar situation to Softball NZ and other NZ sports teams competing and winning on the world stage against the odds through hard work and dedication.
On the eve of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championships in Whitehorse, Canada, Golden Homes has announced it is extending its commitment with Softball NZ (SNZ) in a move that will be celebrated across the entire Softball community.
Golden Homes Director Shane Helms said “we have pleasure in renewing our partnership with Softball New Zealand following a stellar year both on the local and world stage. Since 2014 we have enjoyed the relationship with your organisation and in particular we are proud of our shared values of honesty, effort, achievement, family and opportunity.
Softball NZ would like to announce the commencement of a National U23 Men’s tournament to be held at Rosedale Park, North Harbour from Thursday 7th Dec to Sunday 10th Dec 2017. We are excited to have this addition to our National schedule.
Pathways for the men from U19 Boys to the Black Sox needed addressing, and with the WBSC making plans to possibly instigate an U23 Men’s World Champs in 2020 then Softball NZ felt this was the time to bring in this new National tournament.
Click here to view the process and timeline that SNZ will follow for the development of the new strategy for softball.
Softball New Zealand is progressing in leaps and bounds, as it builds on the Black Sox sixth world title and a successfully hosted tournament at Rosedale Park.
At the organisation’s quarterly meeting over the weekend, attended by the board and association representatives, SNZ general manager Dane Dougan outlined how the on and off-diamond achievements during the world championship were being leveraged for both short and long-term benefits for the sport.
“We’ve had some very promising discussions with broadcasters about getting more softball on television,” he said. “The key to that, though, is to provide more attractive softball products.
“We’re going through the final stages of our world championship debrief and so far, there has been great feedback from our key stakeholders.”
Perhaps the most crucial goal is to have the Black Sox playing more games in New Zealand. Before the world championship, they had not played here since 2008.
“The first regional meeting since the world champs was inspirational,” said Canterbury Softball chief executive Cheryl Kemp. “The work on rolling out a new plan for our sport has made huge progress, and bodes very well for some exciting products and events next summer.
“These new products will reach across the sport sector and provide opportunity for many in the community.”
One initiative that looks particularly promising is a bid to have a round of the Australian Gilley’s Shield interstate competition for women staged in New Zealand.
The White Sox programme has sent development teams across the Tasman for the past three years to prepare senior and junior national team players for the next level.
3 Sep, 2012
World championship winning captains Mark Sorenson and Jarrad Martin have both been named players of the decades as Softball New Zealand celebrates its 75th jubilee.
|Decade||Female Player of the Decade||Decade||Male Player of the Decade|
|1937 - 1946||Eva Knight||1937 - 1946||Alf Jenkins|
|1947 – 1956||Eva Knight||1947 – 1956||Brian Wareham|
|1957 – 1966||Bev Makinson||1957 – 1966||Bill Massey|
|1967 – 1976||Marilyn Marshall||1967 – 1976||Kevin Herlihy|
|1977 – 1986||Cheryl Kemp||1977 – 1986||Kevin Herlihy|
|1987 – 1996||Gina Weber||1987 – 1996||Mark Sorenson|
|1997 – 2006||Rhonda Hira||1997 – 2006||Jarrad Martin|
|2007 - 2012||Michal Tangaroa||2007 - 2012||Thomas Makea|
3 Sep, 2012
|Mark Sorenson, far right, was pleased to be inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame with two other greats, Don Tricker, second from left and Wayne Nichols representing his brother Mike Nichols, third from left. With them at last week's induction was Bob Leveloff president of the Oceania region.|
He broke into national competition in 1980 and by 1984 Michael was on the first of three New Zealand teams that he would compete with in ISF Men's World Championships. Over that trio of tournaments he had a batting average of .339 and won a gold and two silver medals.
In four other international competitions from 1981-90 his team came in first place each time. An outfielder, Michael was elected to the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame in 2000.
Don Tricker made his name known through New Zealand men’s softball as both a player and then as a coach. On the diamond he wore the Black Sox uniform from 1987-1990, which included winning a silver medal at the ISF VII Men’s World Championship in Canada in 1988. Following his retirement from playing, Don went on to become the first coach to win back-to-back world titles. From 1998-2004 his New Zealand teams captured the gold medals at the marquee ISF event in 2000 in South Africa and 2004 in their home country.
His technical analysis helped the team achieve success that he was
honoured for with the 2000 Halberg Award (New Zealand Sports Awards)
for coach of the year.
In 1984 Mark Sorenson made his international softball debut at the ISF VI Men’s World Championship at the age of just 16 years old. Twenty-one years later he retired from the game with seven world championship tournaments (one junior) to his credit – all of them gold (five times) or silver medal finishes. In four of the seven he finished with a .400 batting average or higher.
A catcher, Mark played in over 70 games in world championship play alone. He made more than 125 other international playing appearances on behalf of New Zealand over his three decades in men’s fast pitch softball to cement
his legacy in Black Sox history.