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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Alexandra’s Tuesday night softball competition is showing signs of much needed growth, thanks to Upper Clutha players wanting to join in.

A social tournament, played on Tuesday nights, will return to Molyneux Park this month, an event which has caught the attention of Upper Clutha players.

Upper Clutha Softball president Paula Haig was among those trying to boost the sport’s profile across the region, particularly within Wanaka.

She said there was a growing number of people keen to give the sport a go in Cromwell, too.

Growing interest, although it was still gaining momentum, was pleasing for the sport locally, Central Otago Softball Association president Colleen Kitto said.

In previous years the tournament has had between four to six teams, which play one game each week.

Games are about an hour and a-half long.

The Tuesday night format was established to make it easier for high school pupils to play, while still taking part in other summer sports at weekends, she said.

“And, also, the adults are all busy at the weekends now, as well.”

The season takes place from October to December and February to March, allowing a break over Christmas and New Year.

Mrs Kitto said anyone else wanting to form or join a team was welcome, even if they were new to the sport.

“You don’t have to have nine people,” she said.

“It’s extremely social and we’ve had that before, where people just come along and watch for a couple of games and [then] get involved.”

She said in recent years Alexandra’s primary grade had been “really strong”, with about 25 teams which play on Tuesday afternoons.

Last year Dunstan High School senior boys’ and girls’ teams also competed in the annual South Island Secondary School’s tournament for division two.

“The boys got second and the girls got third, which shows that even though we don’t have a strong competition around down here, our kids are capable of playing at a level that makes them competitive with teams that play every weekend.”