More pathways for NZ as softball reinstated into Olympic games

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

Eight teams from all over the country gathered to compete in the North Island U15 Girls Softball Championships today in Wellington and they brought with them some fierce competition.

Spirits were high today amongst the eight competing teams.

New Zealand Softball Tournament Representative Glenn Roff says, “It’s a really exciting time for the girls game with softball being re-instated back into the Olympics, we have a lot of pathways opening up for us.”

The tournament is being held at Hataitai Park in Wellington over the next four days with teams coming from Auckland, Manawatū, Hutt Valley, North Harbour, Counties Manukau, Te Tai Rāwhiti, Waikato and Wellington.

Referee Wiremu Tamaki says, “I think it's good for the sport. I think more people need to get involved with the sport.”

Glenn Roff says the stand out teams to watch are Auckland, North Harbour, Hutt Valley and Wellington but they are expecting a new calibre of talent with the most recent additions to the tournament Te Tai Rāwhiti and Manawatū.

“That’s what the selectors are here to do this weekend, is identify that talent and then they'll go into camps as of April,” says Roff.

Even though there is competition between the teams, athlete Maiora Thatcher says that their goal is to win the competition, keep the team happy and enjoy the trip.