When three local softball associations decided to join forces, it was about getting out on the diamond.
After a tough period and a lot of uncertainty due to COVID-19, the Mill Park-based Northern District, Keilor Park and Districts and Sunshine softball associations formed the North West Travel League.
The competition was played with modified rules to avoid contact, while the club’s were able to share grounds and equipment.
All three clubs were to stem the decline in player numbers due to the competition.
The three associations and the competition were recognised earlier this month, winning the Victorian Sports Awards initiative of the year for 2020.
Keilor Park’s Justin Zelones said they were shocked and excited to win such an award.
“We were all quite nervous about numbers as we were coming out of covid,” he said.
“Softball Victoria got us together and we sat down and talked about how we not only make a competition to start with, but how it would be robust and work within covid rules.”
Such was the success of the league, the clubs are running it again this year with all three clubs looking at possibly fielding more sides, across mixed under-12s, under-14s, under-16s, under-18s competitions, and women’s and men’s competitions.
There will also be T-ball.
“I think the competition helped as you were playing a competition with more than one or two teams.
“The way it looks it will be another growth year for us. Until we have enough teams for bigger standalone competitions, I can’t see why we don’t continue it.”
If you’re interested in playing, contact the associations through their Facebook pages.