Bendigo Baseball Association is determined to send a representative team to the 2019 U12 State Winter Championships.
This is a big opportunity for these regional junior baseball players, and no one wants them to miss out on competing against teams from across the state in a thrilling tournament. The preparations for this year’s events including weekly training and fundraising to help with costs.
The U12 State Winter Championships will take place in Werribee. Raising funds to cover the costs of traveling to and participating in this tournament will make a big difference, especially as Bendigo Baseball Association (BBA) continues their efforts to revitalize and reinvigorate their junior competition.
“After experiencing declining numbers over the years, the BBA appointed one of our seniors, Seb Smith, to the Junior Coordinator role to try and address the issue,” Luke Martin, President of BBA, said. “We understand that there can be a lot of costs involved in taking a rep team away and, as our junior players are important to our future, we want to support them as best as we can. The fundraising efforts of our members will help with travel and accommodation costs to ensure that our kids can get the opportunity to compete at the State Winter Championships and have maximum exposure to their sport at a high level.”
As part of this, BBA is holding a raffle with some amazing prizes, generating some much-needed funds and getting the community involved along the way. They have received some generous donations from local businesses, including an awesome , thanks to their friends at . Valued at $799, this trampoline is a big-ticket raffle item, drawing interest in the fundraiser and supporting junior ball players in the Bendigo region at the same time
Georgina Strahan has spearheaded the junior fundraising efforts to minimize the costs to families. As the mother of four boys herself, Georgina knows firsthand how challenging it can be to financially support children in everything they want to do. That’s why they’ve been running a BBQ at junior games, selling sausages and drinks with all proceeds benefiting the junior program. A pizza disco night also helped, but BBA is hopeful they can raise money outside of junior families with the current fundraisers. “We have our movie event with the Bendigo Cinema to watch Toy Story 4. For every ticket sold, we make $3,” Georgina said.
Georgina has also organised a raffle, which has gained momentum and grown larger than she originally anticipated, thanks to the generosity of donors like Vuly Play. “It was initially just going to be a small raffle with donations from our local stores, until we heard Vuly would be interested in donating such a huge prize. This meant we could run the raffle for a longer period of time, allowing us to reach more people. With such a valuable first prize, the raffle was more appealing to people and we could sell the tickets at a higher price for a better chance at reaching our goals.”
Supporting the junior representative teams is important to Georgina, Seb Smith, and the rest of the Bendigo Baseball Association. Seb says the players are thrilled about the possibility of going to the tournament. “The kids absolutely love the idea of being able to learn a sport and then represent the town in which they live. The extensive training and constant progress that they see in themselves is great, and it feels meaningful and something that they want to strive to do,” Seb said. “Being part of a group that has a common objective really builds confidence but also a sense of responsibility to play to the best of their ability and establish a role within the team.”
At a time of rapid development of junior baseball in Bendigo, BBA aims to provide training and build a positive community around the kids. “We have been very fortunate to find passionate people that want to build the sport and give young people the opportunity to play baseball,” Seb said. With a history of sending representative teams, it’s a priority to help these kids achieve their tournament goals this winter. “Our U12 team should be all good to go for another year which is awesome.”
For more details, please visit the Bendigo Baseball Association Facebook page HERE.