Papanui pitches in to help grow South Canterbury softball

Junior Black Sox pitcher Ben Watts is part of an all star Papanui line-up coming to Timaru to coach at a free clinics ...
Dean Kozanic

Junior Black Sox pitcher Ben Watts is part of an all star Papanui line-up coming to Timaru to coach at a free clinics this weekend.

Some of the big guns of New Zealand softball will be in Timaru on anniversary weekend.

Canterbury club champions Papanui are coming to run free training clinics.

Included the Papanui line-up are a number of current and former Black Sox, including coach Thomas Makea, who is in world softball's 'hall of fame'.

Players include Tyron Bartorillo, who was named the New Zealand 'player of the year', and Makea's son Reilly, who was the emerging New Zealand 'player of the year'.  

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Two Timaru born players, Nathan and Jackson Watt, were also keen to assist with the promotion as they want to put some time back into their softball grassroots.

Jackson is a junior Black Sox while Nathan is the Canterbury Red Sox catcher.

On Saturday morning the players will be holding a team training at Morrison Park  while an open coaching session will be held from 1.20pm for boys and girls over 10, before training again on Sunday.

Aorangi Softball spokesperson Keri Murphy said the association feel very privileged to have this level of support shown by Canterbury and Papanui sofftball, especially for the development of our younger players and our coaches.

"Anyone is able to come along to any of the sessions, coaches, players and public. Saturday is probably the best day.

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"It's great they have given up their time to come here with some of the best young players in the country."

Murphy said Jackson and Nathan Watt really wanted to come and help because of their Timaru connections.

Walker said they are hoping to have in excess of 50 young players turn up.

"A hundred would be great. It is a great opportunity to learn more." 

If wet the clinics will be switched to the gym at Sir Basil Arthur Park.

Murphy said interest in softball was continuing to grow in South Canterbury, especially among the teenagers..

"This year we will be taking the under 15 boys to South Island tournament for the second year, in Invercargill early January

"Also we hope to take an under 17 boys team to the Mainland tournament in Christchurch in December."

Murphy said the Temuka and Celtic softball clubs have been actively promoting it.

"Anyone interested in playing softball should also come out on Saturday afternoon."

The clinics will run on September 23 and 24 and anyone interested can contact Murphy on either email or 021 028 79755.

Aorangi competitions hit off on Wednesday, October 25,  for secondary schools and October 27 for all other grades


 - Stuff

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