It's quite an audition - Plimmerton teen Keri Simeon is hoping to impress Junior White Sox selectors at a three-day softball tournament in Australia this week.
The 17-year-old Tawa College student leaves tomorrow for Perth for the Edebone-Weber Shield tournament. She will play for the women's wider selection Junior White Sox side, alongside Junior White Sox players and other up-and- comers hoping to be picked for the squad in January.
If she makes the Junior White Sox, Simeon will be off to Ontario, Canada, next July for the Junior Women's World Series.
Her batting and fielding are on form but it's nerves she will have to control, she says.
"For me it's my mindgame. If I tell myself I can't do something, I'll put it in my mind. I try not to let things get to me."
Showing nerves or frustration is a big no-no for selectors, she says.
"If you make mistakes you can't let it get to you."
Perth won't be the first time Simeon has donned New Zealand colours. Last year she played in Australia for the Junior White Sox development side.
In July she gained more international experience, attending a tournament in Irvine, California, as part of a International Softball Association team.
Simeon was impressed by the softball she saw in the United States.
"Everything was just sharp. They all look the part, amazing uniforms."
She took up T-ball as a 4-year-old and never looked back. Last year she was named MVP and junior sports female of the year by her club side, Porirua City United. Her two sisters were both talented softballers at secondary school and she can count on massive family support, she says.
Dad Cam never misses a practice or a game, and she often has the largest support group of any player at games when her 14-strong extended family show up.
- Kapi-Mana News