Future stars take their first international step

The touring group will watch Aussie Spirit pitcher Ellen Roberts playing for Ogaki Minamo.

Future stars take their first international step

Some of Australia’s best young softball players are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime when they head to Japan as part of Softball Australia’s Pathways Program.

The Under 19 Australian Development Squad and Under 16 Aussie Diamonds will play against high-quality softball teams at an invitational tournament in Chiba plus other games against local teams in Tokyo and Ota City.

Ota

Ota City Stadium, venue for the Japan Softball League game that features two Aussie Spirit stars.

The young athletes will train and play in an environment that will be at a level far higher than they will have experienced in Australia.

Playing under experienced coaches and against quality opposition will undoubtedly enhance each player’s development and improve their skills and knowledge of the game.

The 13-day tour, starting on October 3, will also include sightseeing in Tokyo and a trip to Disneyland, plus a chance to watch some of the world’s best players in the Japan Softball League.

The young players will also meet Aussie Spirit pitcher Ellen Roberts, who plays for Ogaki Minamo, and Spirit captain Stacey Porter, who plays for SG Holdings Sagawa, when those teams play each other on October 13.

Softball Australia’s Technical Project Coordinator, Brooke Wilkins, has organised the tour in conjunction with Sportslink International, a leading provider of sports tours for athletes and spectators.

“These tours are a about providing players with the opportunity to improve their skills against international opposition and experience touring overseas,” says Wilkins, a three-time Olympic medallist and member of the International Softball Hall of Fame.

Wilkins says both teams will work closely together on this tour with coaches who can work to give each athlete a quality softball experience.

Ellen Roberts

Ellen Roberts pitches for Ogaki Minamo.

“In planning the Softball Australia Pathway Tours we are looking to provide the right environment on and off the field to build athletes’ competencies, confidence, and character,” she says.

 

 

Tour itinerary

  • Oct 3:  Evening departure flights
  • Oct 4: Chiba – Arrival and airport transfer
  • Oct 5: Chiba – Training day
  • Oct 6: Chiba – Invitational tournament
  • Oct 7: Chiba – Invitational tournament
  • Oct 8: Chiba – Invitational tournament. Transfer to Tokyo in evening
  • Oct 9: Tokyo – Sightseeing in morning, afternoon games
  • Oct 10: Tokyo – Disneyland, full day
  • Oct 11: Tokyo – Free morning, afternoon games
  • Oct 12: Tokyo – Travel to Ota (possible afternoon game)
  • Oct 13: Ota – Japan Softball League games (possible morning game)
  • Oct 14: Japan Softball League games. Narita evening departure flight
  • Oct 15: Arrive in Australia

 

2018 Aussie Diamonds Japan Tour

U19 Australian Development Squad U16 Aussie Diamonds Team
Mia Gilmore, NSW Alyssa Ribarovski, NSW
Madisun Grahamm Qld Lyyli McGauran, Vic
Mya Geros, NSW Indigo De Silva, SA
Grace Wrixon, NSW Savannah Ritter, Qld
Ashlee Harwood, WA Sienna Kowaliw, NSW
Breanna Payten, ACT Karah Schultz, SA
Teagan Dobson, ACT Baillee Lorigan, NSW
Gemma Hooker, WA Zali Adams, SA
Isabelle Hanna, NSW Janie Pari, Vic
Ellie Marks, NSW Paige Smith, WA
Abigail Tosic, ACT Neve Adams, SA
Bree-Anna Butler, Qld Skye Forbes, Vic
Samantha Glover, NSW Keziah Pauli, Vic
Sophie Roberts, SA Heidi Bell, NSW
Brooke Stewart, Qld Olivia Foda, NSW
Coach: Kerrie Porter, NSW Coach: Annie Fidge, SA
Coach: Neridah Wearne, NSW Coach: Vicki Bingley, ACT
Manager: Kerryn Bell, Vic Manager: Meegan Roberts, SA