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Boys show there are endless opportunities

Softball boys

Image: Victoria’s Daniel Whitney-Turner, 12, and Levi Churchill, 11, found themselves captivated by softball after being introduced to the sport through the Sporting Schools program.

Sporting Schools is introducing children across Australia to a variety of sports – and endless opportunities.

Take Victoria’s Daniel Whitney-Turner and Levi Churchill. Exposure to Softball Australia’s Batter Up program last year changed everything for them.

Introduced to softball through the Sporting Schools program last year, Daniel, 12, and Levi, 11, found themselves captivated by a sport they describe as “fun”, “speedy”, “supportive” and “exciting”.

Their former teacher Carolyn Campbell says the boys felt good about how they were progressing after each of the [Sporting Schools] clinic sessions.

“Combining that with the training we did for district [school] softball, it all just took off from there,” she says.

“I invited all of the kids who tried out for our district softball team at Berwick Fields to come down and try … Dan and Levi were the two that really wanted to try to take their softball further and were really interested in developing their skills.”

A “come-and-try” day led to the duo joining a mixed team at the Berwick Braves, and by January they had progressed all the way to the U15 Boys State Championships.

“It was an amazing opportunity to play in an event like [State Championships], and I learnt lots of new skills through it which I was able to take with me to my current club,” Daniel says.

With their sights set on one day representing Victoria, the duo say that they are striving to understand more of the game and play as much softball as they can.

“I want to show boys that it isn’t just a girl’s game, both boys and girls can play,” Levi says.

Although Daniel and Levi are just two kids that have been inspired by the possibilities softball offers them by the Sporting Schools program, Campbell believes the program positively impacted all the students.

“Having Shane Goodall come to do clinics at the school for softball was really great because the kids got to see someone who was really passionate about the sport and someone who was really encouraging.”

Sporting Schools is a $160 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a Softball Australia program at your school? Check out all the details on the Softball Australia page.

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