With the Tokyo Olympic games postponed until 2021, many aspiring Olympians’ dreams are on hold.
For softballers, the postponement has been particularly hard as the sport’s return to the Olympics created a tremendous buzz for Australian players, who along with USA, have won medals at all four Olympics where softball was played.
Unfortunately, that excitement has been delayed following the announcement in March to postpone the Olympic Games until 2021.
Local ACT player Clare Warwick was one of 20 selected in the Australian softball team, the Travelodge Aussie Spirit. Clare was planning to head to Tokyo and says it was frustrating hearing the news she wouldn’t be going this year.
“I was excited to think of the possibility of going to the Games and competing at the highest level softball has to offer,” says Clare. “We had been working so hard and were just about to go and compete overseas. But then I just focused on what I could control, getting my strength and conditioning in, and waiting for a chance to start up skills again.”
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The full-time school teacher, in Canberra suburb Harrison, was also a member of the squad in 2019 that won qualification for the Olympics in Shanghai, and she says that was a massive highlight of her softball career.
“We had never played under that kind of pressure and it was really rewarding to achieve our goal after so much preparation,” says Clare.
She says she first started playing softball because her friends played, and she loved sport in general.
“I have been playing for 25 years now and am still motivated to play because I enjoy the game and the challenges it provides,” says Clare. “At a high level, softball isn’t easy. You have to be quite resilient to be consistent at that level.”
As well as being an Australian representative player, Clare also plays for the Softball ACT Diamonds Open Women’s Team and local softball club Boomerangs. She is talented in several field positions, mainly as infielder and shortstop, but sometimes plays third base.
Softball ACT has been a massive influence in Clare’s development as a player. She says it provided a pathway for her through academies and weekend competitions which all helped to achieve her goals in the sport.
Clare says she recommends playing softball to people because it is an exciting and social sport.
“I think there are lots of opportunities for the very athletic to showcase their stuff,” she says. “But also for those interested in tactics and strategy in sports. It is a fun and challenging game that builds camaraderie.
“There are lots of opportunities to play different versions of softball, including social 7s to get involved in. There is something for everyone and there’s plenty of help along the way, with lots of knowledge and expertise from the Softball ACT admin staff and coaching staff.”
The new ACT softball season starts on 17 October. Get in touch with Softball ACT for help finding a team, or phone 02 6278 3000.