Softball Victoria Athlete & Coach Performance Manager Simon Blundell gives us an update on the organisation’s High Performance programs in the month of June:
There has been a lot going on behind the scenes as of late, we have been working really hard to ensure that we get a Under 23 Womens team away to Nationals in July.
Our State Team coaches have been appointed, as have our teams of officials. The Head Coaches all met to discuss the approaches for the teams this year, setting trials programs, goals for the teams, identifying the key challenges, and to establish a good basis for the coaches to work together over the coming months.
I also need to apologise for the delays in getting information out to you, the community, as my first time organising the State Team process it has been far more challenging than I anticipated and as such there have been some delays. I can tell you that I am learning as I go and I hope that I can continue to refine the process and make it smoother in the future.
The process has caused me to reflect on just how important volunteers are. I have had a small group of people working very hard to assist me with each element of the process, many of whom are also sitting on committees and working with the Victorian athletes currently selected into Aussie teams, and I cannot thank them enough for their contribution.
I would encourage each of you to have a think about how you can contribute, at club, association or state level. I have been out and about speaking with some of the community about where their strengths lie and what contribution they are able to make. As a consequence of these conversations, I have begun identifying what skills are out there and just what time individuals have available that they are willing to commit to softball to assist in improving what we do and how we do it. I am always willing to hear from people, and I am happy to find time to discuss how you can be involved.
In addition to the State Teams, we have also been working closely with School Sport Victoria to co-ordinate trials for the Pacific School Games which take place in December this year in Adelaide, and I have no doubt there will be a number of our community involved in that tournament (we already have some coaches and officials involved).
We have also had a working group – consisting of coaches, athletes, parents, and experienced softball people – looking at the State Team uniforms as we try to streamline them, address the concerns from previous years and establish a partnership with a supplier that provides some benefit back to the sport.
Lastly, I would like to quickly wish Jackie Di Siervi, Jess Bahn, Lewis Weldon, Ryan Sinclair, Sam Reale, and Natasha Holt all the best in representing Australia in the coming months, as well as wishing Moana Benjamin, Julianne Kinsella, Grace Peters, Georgia Reynolds, Adele Wood and Santara Zachan all the best for the Friendship series. Of course I should also mention our Friendship Series Officials – Fiona Mills, Alisha Bell and Andrea Mansfield and wish them well too.
Athlete & Coach Performance Manager