Softball masters secured for third consecutive year
AN economic boost of over $1M is expected to flow through the region next month, when more than 1,000 people descend on Mooroopna over the June long weekend, to take part in the 2017 Victorian Masters Softball Championships.
Running over the weekend of June 10 to 12 at the Mooroopna Recreation Reserve, hundreds of spectators are expected to visit the region to watch a record number of 53 teams comprising more than 800 players from Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania take part in the tournament, which is celebrating its 21st birthday.
Within the teams are former Victorian and Australian representatives and national and international umpires and coaches.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Dinny Adem is pleased to see the event return to our region.
“This is the fifth time we will host the event after hosting it very successfully in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2016.
“Eleven softball diamonds will be installed at the Mooroopna Recreation Reserve sports fields and the new 500 lux lights could also be switched on for this year’s tournament following some development.
“It is fantastic for Greater Shepparton to be hosting an event such as this, continuing to showcase and enhance the municipality as regional Australia’s sporting event capital.
“Events like these help pack out our city’s accommodation, fill up our restaurants and eating establishments and really help to keep local businesses busy and the economy strong,” Cr Adem said.
Softball Victoria executive officer, Nick Frayne said, “We are pleased to provide such a great location to our members for this tournament, which is a ‘must do’ for Masters Softballers. Likewise, we are very happy that the tournament gives a boost to local, non-profit organisations that will be assisting to support the event.
“This is an exciting time for Softball Victoria, and provides a real opportunity to grow the sport further.
“We started the masters in Altona with just 26 teams, and it is great to see that it has come such a long way.”
The success of the masters has also seen a surge in popularity for the sport across the Greater Shepparton region, which has lead to a local softball association opening.
Softball Victoria association coordinator, Kerrie Laverick said, “We are currently negotiating with council at the moment on where to locate the association and once this is agreed upon, we will announce the ‘Slowpitch Social 7s’ competition which is a pay as you play version of softball.
“This will hopefully start up shortly after masters. The Fastpitch competition will be from October to March and will be available for all ages.”