Club makes pitch for new players

February 16, 2024 BY

Tryouts: Ballarat Royals Baseball Club members are inviting young people aged between five and 13 to try their hand at the sport as part of their junior skill development sessions. Photo: SUPPLIED

JUNIOR sessions from one of Ballarat’s two major baseball teams are set to return later this month with the aim of introducing kids to the sport.

Members of the Ballarat Royals Baseball Club will soon reprise their junior skill development with sessions beginning this Thursday.

Taking place at Prince of Wales Park, junior coordinator Scott Talpey said the program is about garnering junior participation before the Geelong Baseball Association’s Winter Junior Competition in April.

“We want to develop skills around the fundamentals of baseball so throwing, hitting, catching, but doing in in a way that’s fun and engaging,” he said.

“Baseball in Ballarat has a long history going back to the goldfields so it’s one of the first places in Australia where it’s ever been played.

“The future of the sport is in our younger players so our goal is to have standalone teams in the under 12s and under 14s in the Geelong Baseball Association’s Winter Junior Competition.”

The program will begin with T-ball practice for five to seven year olds from 5.15pm to 6.15pm.

Following that, the session will cater to participants aged between eight and 13, with the aim of building the club’s under 12s and under 14s sides.

With junior numbers having waned for the past few years, the team currently has about half a dozen young players participating in the winter competition through other clubs.

“We want anywhere between nine to 10 players in both under 12s and under 14s so we can have our own teams for once moving forward,” Talpey said.

“We’ve had teams in under 16s and under 18s participating in the Victorian Summer Baseball League but we really want to transition to winter because that’s when our seniors play with three to four teams each year.

“We want to create a family culture around our club where the seniors and juniors are training together, families are involved, and everybody’s together helping each other get better.”

To express interest in the juniors program, contact the club via [email protected].