The Travelodge Aussie Spirit coaching staff for the WBSC Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifier has been confirmed bringing a stack of elite level sports experience to their Olympic campaign.
Joining Laing Harrow as Head Coach is recently retired Aussie Steeler Andrew Kirkpatrick who bowed out of the international arena earlier this year following the WBSC Men’s World Championship.
Kirkpatrick joins the staff as Battery Coach with Nathan Jones filling the Assistant Coach role, Jones spent time with the Australian squad for a large part of the 2019 National Pro Fastpitch season.
Physiotherapist Kathy Mitchell, Strength & Conditioning Jason Howell, Team Manager Simone Wearne, Statistician Chris Trengrove and Video Analyst Tony Mackie will also travel with the team.
Dr. Deidre Anderson remains with the squad in a Performance Support Role.
The coaching staff brings a wealth of experience with Harrow, Jones and Mitchell all Softball Australia Hall of Fame Members with Kirkpatrick to no doubt join them in the near future. Mitchell also brings the experience of over 70 games for the Aussie Spirit.
They are also well-credentialed outside of softball with Wearne being a member of Australia’s winning team in 2002’s Women’s World Baseball Series and Baseball Australia Hall of Famer, while Howell was a part of the Aussie Diamonds recent Netball World Cup campaign where they won Silver.
Full staff list:
- Laing Harrow – Head Coach
- Nathan Jones – Assistant Coach
- Andrew Kirkpatrick – Battery Coach
- Kathy Mitchell – Physiotherapist
- Jason Howell – Strength & Conditioning
- Simone Wearne – Team Manager
- Deidre Anderson – Performance Support
- Tony Mackie – Video Analyst
- Chris Trengove – Statistician
Twenty players have been named to travel to Japan ahead of the 24-28 September winner take all tournament in Shanghai.
A team of 15 will be selected to compete with the remaining five invited to assist the final team during the Qualifier.
The selection was announced at Travelodge Hotels ‘Softball Suite’, the ultimate hotel room for softball fans, featuring a host of softball memorabilia from past Olympic Games, including medals, equipment, and framed images of players to give softball aficionados an opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the sport.
The Softball Suite will be available to book at Travelodge Blacktown for a limited time only from August 31 August to 7 September. The Travelodge Hotel Blacktown is located close to the Blacktown International Sportspark the same venue Australia won Bronze during the Sydney Olympic Games.
Squad of 20 below:
- Madeline Cameron (SA)
- Michelle Cox (NSW)
- Chelsea Forkin (QLD)
- Leigh Godfrey (WA)
- Rachel Lack (NSW)
- Verity Long-Droppert (WA)
- Stacey McManus (NSW)
- Kaia Parnaby (NSW)
- Leah Parry (WA)
- Gabrielle Plain (NSW)
- Stacey Porter (NSW)
- Ellen Roberts (NSW)
- Carmelle Sorensen (QLD)
- Tarni Stepto (NSW)
- Jessica Torpey (QLD)
- Taylah Tsitsikronis (NSW)
- Jade Wall (QLD)
- Clare Warwick (ACT)
- Belinda White (SA)
- Tamieka Whitefield (QLD)