Baseball Work Opportunity

Baseball Work Opportunity

Runcorn State High School has partnered with Baseball QLD to deliver Baseball as a specialist sport within the school from 2019. As a result we are seeking a Health & Physical Education Teacher, with a passion for Baseball to undertake a temporary full time contract from Term 4 2018 until Term 4 2019, with the possibility of extension.

In 2019, Runcorn SHS will commence a Baseball Academy and the successful candidate will be developing and driving this Academy from the start.  The program will utilise Indians Baseball Club for the workout sessions, but there will also be curriculum attached to the program.  This program will be based off the successful Robina SHS program, however adapted to Runcorn’s demographic.  We are also looking to integrate an International Student Program with this program, linking Baseball players from Japan with an opportunity to play Baseball at High School in Australia.

If you would like any further information, please contact Jo Soothill (Principal – Runcorn SHS).

This is exciting for our sport in Queensland as our Queensland Schools Baseball committee look to increase the number of schools and students playing Baseball.

Please share this amongst your networks.  Job closes Sunday, 9th September

https://smartjobs.qld.gov.au/jobs/QLD-MER286502-18

Together with Smithfield State High (Cairns) and Robina State High school there will now be three Schools of Baseball Excellence in Queensland.

BQ Interview: Women’s Development Program with Geoff Wade

BQ Interview: Women’s Development Program with Geoff Wade

The future for female baseball in Queensland

After the release of the Queensland Youth Women’s and Women’s 2018/19 Baseball Calendar, Baseball Queensland spoke to Geoff Wade, Director of Women’s and Girl’s Participation to discuss his plans for the Girl’s Pathways Program and where he anticipates this new era of female baseball in Queensland will lead our female athletes. We also heard from the Girl’s U14 and U16’s BQ Bandits Team to hear their opinions on the upcoming developments within female baseball in Queensland.

South West Indigenous Network Providing Opportunities

South West Indigenous Network Providing Opportunities

SOUTH WEST INDIGENOUS NETWORK PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES

Baseball Queensland are partnered with SWIN (South West Indigenous Network) with their TRAX Tours to deliver sporting opportunities to children in rural and remote areas of Queensland.

“The TRAX sports Education Tours are often the only chance for students from small and remote schools to trial and experience new sports, and access coaching.  The Tours, held over a week, offer primary school aged participants with quality coaching, inclusiveness and the ability to improve overall health and well-being through physical activity.  It also provides sports administration workshops and in-service training for teachers, coaches, officials and club administrators to ensure ongoing participation is well supported in communities.  The tours are strongly supported by the state and national sporting organisations whose development officers host many of the specialist clinics.

The South West Indigenous Network (SWIN) currently has funding through the Department of Social Services (Community Development and Participation Programme) to conduct a total of 12 tour programs (4 tour programs each year across a 3 year period) with visits to 61 communities across the South West Region.  These tours also aim to provide community members and volunteers with regular access to development officers and high quality sporting experiences to continue getting children and community members in rural and remote areas to participate in physical activity.”

 

Baseball Queensland coach, Nick Bachono, is heading the 2018 Trax Tour and has just completed the first tour in May in Cunnamulla, Eulo and Wyandra in rural Queensland. The second stage of the tour is running from the 18th of June until the 22nd June in Cunnamulla, Charleville, Thargomindah and Quilpie.

 

Nick Bachono sat down with Baseball Queensland to talk about the importance of Trax Tours and his view on the development of sport in rural Queensland.

What is your current role with SWIN?
My role with the South West Indigenous Network (SWIN) is a regional sports development officer on behalf of Baseball Queensland/ Brisbane Bandits for the 2018 TRAX Tour. The TRAX Tour is a tour of South West Queensland delivering sports programs to regional schools and communities throughout the region. The sports program is made up of a wide variety of Queensland based sports organisation- Baseball Qld/Bandits, Brisbane Heat Cricket, Hockey Queensland, Tennis Queensland, Touch Football Queensland, Netball Queensland, Golf Queensland, Softball Queensland and Queensland Rugby League. We meet in Toowoomba and travel to regional schools and deliver our sports programs to some isolated schools on South West Queensland. So far this year we have travelled to: Goondiwindi, Cunnamulla, Quilpie, Charleville, Eulo, Wyandra and Thargomindah. In 2018 we’ve worked with over 1200 students.

Why are networks like SWIN so important to the development of sport in Queensland?
The TRAX Sports Education Tours are often the only chance for students from small and remote schools to trial and experience new sports and access quality coaching. The Tours offer a variety of sports to a broad student base that focus on inclusiveness and enable participants to improve overall health and well-being through physical activity.

What is your favourite part of coaching these kids?
It’s fun! Getting the chance to travel these remote schools and communities is an awesome experience. There’s so much to learn and lots to take in. My role is to introduce kids to baseball, which they otherwise wouldn’t experience and I like to see them enjoying that experience.

Is there a specific element of coaching these kids that is especially rewarding for you?
Being able to introduce these kids to baseball is extremely rewarding!
Watching the looks on their faces when they realise they can actually hit a ball is magic.

Where can you see this network going in the future?
Going into more communities that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to this kind of program. One such program is the Pathways Program. The Pathways Programs is SWINs priority program. It was created to further the sporting journeys of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people through assistance with the costs of competing, which can often exempt families from being able to send their young people to competition. This program provides pathways for young people to travel the state to represent their communities at regional and state level sporting competitions.

The outcomes from this program include increased Indigenous representation in sport, health and fitness for Indigenous youth, rise in confidence and pride for the young person, their family and their community.

Could you see SWIN traveling to other states in Australia?
Yes, it’s such a great program and has great outcomes for Indigenous communities. It would need to be adapted for the different communities but would be a valuable program for young people who otherwise would not be exposed to such programs.

Baseball Queensland would like to congratulate Nick Bachono on his involvement with SWIN; keep updated on further information on Baseball Queensland’s website.

 

Far North Coast Making Waves

Far North Coast Making Waves

Far North Coast Making Waves

Far North Coast making waves.

Far North Coast Baseball Association made history within their club by having teams selected to represent their region in the National tournaments across all three age divisions: Junior League, Little League and Senior League.

FNC Little League coach, Danny O’Sullivan, shared that “It’s certainly a big achievement for the club, we’ve been struggling for numbers in this area for a while so to have three teams go away is just great and the expectations of the coaches at all those tournaments were fairly conservative, so all the teams have exceed our expectations.”

Senior League coach, Brad Donald, said that the inclusion of the three FNC teams to Nationals paths the way for the future of baseball in the Far North Coast, “just for these kids to get there in the first place is a great achievement, a remarkable effort just being here. [They’re] playing against the best of the kids in Australia and Far North Coast is on that map in three age divisions.”

Baseball Queensland would like to acknowledge Far North Coast Baseball Association’s efforts and we wish to extend our congratulations to the region for their continued professionalism during the recent Australian Little League Championships.

Gold Coast ALLC Champs

Gold Coast ALLC Champs

Gold Coast win it all at the ALLC

The Gold Coast Cougars have won the ALLC and are set for Little League World Championships

The Gold Coast Cougars Win Gold

 

The Gold Coast Cougars become first Queensland team in history to win championship title in any age division.

The Gold Cost Cougars are the first team in Queensland to win a national title in any age division. This momentous win has secured the team’s spot in the Little League World Series in the United States of America.

The Gold Coast Cougars’ journey to the Australian Little League Championship was victorious from the get-go. The team remained undefeated throughout the 2018 April Little League Division One State Titles in Cairns where they scored a massive 131 runs collectively across the 4-day tournament letting only one run in the entire competition.

This win lead the Cougars to compete in the Australian Little League Championships from June 6th-June 11th in Lismore against the top 20 teams in the country. Gold Coast played hard and fast in their pool games winning three out of the four match ups, securing them a spot in the quarter finals.

The Cougars had a tight game against Ryde North in the quarter finals but ended up coming out on top 5-1. Both teams were tied at 1 run until the 5th inning when Mitchell Anderson hit a grand-slam to give the Gold Coast the driving force they were looking for.

The Gold Coast Cougars had a tough match up against Illawarra in the semi finals coming away with an 8-6 lead to take them into the Australian Little League Championship game with the Adelaide Seahawks the following day.

The Cougars and the Seahawks were both hungry for the win from the first pitch of game but the Cougars dominated early showing their utmost dedication and professionalism on the field, both offensively and defensively.

Starting pitcher for the Cougars, Oscar Hyde had a remarkable game on the mound pitching his first no hitter with nine strike-outs over four quick innings to shut down the game.

Offensively, the Cougars showed their aggression at the plate scoring four runs in the first inning. The team’s momentum only grew from there adding another seven runs to the scoreboard in the remaining three innings of play.

The Gold Coast Cougars shut the game down 11-0 in the fourth inning, winning the Australian Little League Championships.

Baseball Queensland’s Development Manager, Gareth Jones says, “It is obvious that, as a region, the Gold Coast’s developmental programs are what’s leading these young athletes to success. They are being taught the integral foundations of the game in tee ball, very early on; the rest of the game follows from that foundation. This is a great achievement for the Gold Coast Cougars and the entire Gold Coast region- well done!”

Baseball Queensland would like to extend a huge congratulations to the Gold Coast Cougars and the rest of the teams involved in the Australian Little League Championship; the tournament was an incredible success for all involved.

The Gold Coast Cougars are off to represent Australia in the Little League World Series held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA during the 16th-26th August 2018. Stay up to date with their journey on the Baseball Queensland website.

BQ Interview: Karina Connors

BQ Interview: Karina Connors

Karina Connors

A Baseball Queensland interview with the 17 year Queensland representative.

 

Karina Connors sat down with Baseball Queensland at the Cairns State Titles to talk us through her
17-year baseball career, including her shoulder reconstruction and gave us insight as to what her
next move will be now that she has retired from the sport.

 

Interviewed by Brad Rathbone
Written by Liv Wilson

Karina, you started your baseball career in 2001. Run me through what baseball looked like for women in the early 2000’s?

“It looked like a notification that went out that said “are there any female players who want to play in this team we are trying to get together. We   are going away for a week over Easter.” [laughs] That’s what it looked  like.”

 

What are some highlights in those first 3 years before the shoulder reconstruction?

“A huge highlight for me was our first win at Nationals because we were  really just a bunch of people who were thrown together to play for fun. We were down 12 or 13 runs and we came back and won by 1 run in a  really tight game; it was pretty insane.  Another highlight was being up  against New South Wales and Victoria who, at the time, were the powerhouses of the country in baseball; they had women’s leagues behind them, whereas in Queensland we didn’t have that sort of stuff and we still competed well.”

 

You had your shoulder reconstruction in 2003 walk us through that time.

“I was pitching in an exhibition game in Brisbane. I was just sailing the ball in the dirt and half way up the backstop, something was wrong but I wasn’t in pain. I ended up seeing a shoulder specialist and found out I was dislocating my shoulder when I was throwing the ball due to unstable ligaments and tendons. I went in and had the surgery and they advised me that he wanted me to take 12 months off to stabilise both shoulders. I declined because I was about to go play college ball in America; I didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do. I was determined that there was going to be another way around it. [The surgeon] said I would probably never play baseball again and all they hoped for was that I was able to hang washing on the line; that was the expected outcome. I wasn’t going to give everything up at 19 years old. So I went away to the States for 5 months and I did my rehab over there. My shoulders never been exactly the same as it was before but considering the expected outcome was for me to be able hang up washing, I’m pretty happy! [laughs]”

 

As a professional athlete in a state of recovery what runs through your mind?

“I guess you’ve got to think about it, back in the early 2000’s when I did all of this I wasn’t a professional athlete, we didn’t have the strength and conditioning training that they have nowadays. In the last 10 years I’ve become more aware of what’s really needed and the information has filtered through about recovery; it’s become a process.”

 

You’ve represented Queensland and Australia how do you balance a pro athlete mindset with juggling family and the adversities that come up in the ‘real word’?

“Lots of scheduling! [laughs]  I was playing on the Queensland State Team in 2011 when I was 10 weeks pregnant with my daughter, Charlotte, I had made the Australian Squad for the World Cup to be played later that year, however, I pulled out and had her in the December. I returned to the Queensland Team in 2012 with a 16 week old baby. My husband and I agree that just because we have a family doesn’t mean that it should take away from what either of us wants to do. I’ve headed into retirement now because Charlotte is at an age where she is having other interests and we want to be there for her. I’ve done everything I possibly can and I’m ready to move on. It was a very hard decision to make but I’m at peace with it.”

How have you learnt to overcome adversities in such a competitive level of baseball?

“It’s hard to break through but once I got some perspective, after the World Cup in 2016, I came home and I really sat down and I looked at the tournament and my performance over there and how I viewed it all. I looked at previous players who had beat me to the team and realised that I was always up against one particular player for the 1st base/DH role and when she retired it opened my opportunity to break through into that role. I can sit here and say that ‘I could have performed at that level’ but there was someone better than me, there was a World All Star 1st baseman and DH on the Australian team; how do you overcome that and try and get your opportunity? I just stuck it out and hoped that one day something might change and it did!”

 

You’ve played women’s baseball for 17 years, what’s been the most exciting thing to see develop over that time and do you think more attention needs to fall on certain areas for it to progress to the next level?

“It’s certainly changed a lot. It has grown from 2-3 teams taking it seriously to now every team expecting to win and wanting to win. The work ethic of the girls has increased. We don’t want to overload the players with too many training sessions but it’s evident that no one has sat down with them and guided them through the specifics; we had older mentors helping us with that.”

 

What are your thoughts about young girls playing baseball now, being around the boys and competing against them in state competitions?

“The fact that these regions are so supportive of girls playing on the team is so great! The girls need to participate in the higher-level competitions to get better. I remember being younger in softball and being told I would never be a hitter; I developed my swing through baseball and I was Australia’s DH in the World Cup [laughs]. All you need is opportunity.”

 

What would you say to a girl that might be interested in baseball but fears playing a ‘boy’s sport’?

“Trust me, the boys will be as nervous having you there as what you are of being there! Most associations are very supportive of girls joining. In Cairns we have a lot of girls playing throughout our junior program. We also have our Cairns Angles team, which is a female only team that plays in our B-Grade men’s comp.”

 

What’s the next move for you after playing baseball for 17 years?

“Coaching. I’ve dabbled in it for a while and I’ve noticed that the more I learn about coaching the better it makes me as a player. I hope I can offer some insight and assistance as a coach to some of the up and coming players and even the older players who maybe just need someone new to say something differently than the last person, that makes that tough thing click. Coaching is where I want to go.”

 

 

What did it mean to you to put on the Queensland uniform for the last time?

“It meant a lot to me. Putting the uniform on for the last time while we were away was pretty emotional and having the guys tell me to lead them out onto the field was incredible. It was really special.”

 

Do you think that you’d ever be persuaded to put the uniform back on or are you officially retiring?

“The only way I would put a uniform back on is if my daughter decided she wanted to play, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play with her, that would be really special. But that’s a good 10 years away, so we’ll see if they’ll even take me then! [laughs]

What’s the next move for you after playing baseball for 17 years?

“Coaching. I’ve dabbled in it for a while and I’ve noticed that the more I learn about coaching the better it makes me as a player. I hope I can offer some insight and assistance as a coach to some of the up and coming players and even the older players who maybe just need someone new to say something differently than the last person, that makes that tough thing click. Coaching is where I want to go.”

 

What did it mean to you to put on the Australian uniform for the last time?

“It meant a lot to me. Putting the uniform on for the last time while we were away was pretty emotional and having the guys tell me to lead them out onto the field was incredible. It was really special.”

 

Do you think that you’d ever be persuaded to put the uniform back on or are you officially retiring?

“The only way I would put a uniform back on is if my daughter decided she wanted to play, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play with her, that would be really special. But that’s a good 10 years away, so we’ll see if they’ll even take me then! [laughs]

 

Baseball Queensland thanks Karina Connors for her professional insight into her impressive 17-year baseball career.