Maitland City fields record numbers of teams and players in Newcastle comp

Maitland City Softball Club is fielding a record number of teams in this year's Newcastle Softball competition which begins on Saturday.

Age is no barrier with under-sixes starting with Bennyball and progressing through to T-Ball for six to 10 year olds.

There are mixed under-13 and -15 junior teams and senior men’s and women’s sides from under-18s.

Maitland City publicity officer Kelly Meehan said softball was an ideal game for the whole family to be involved with.

“We have teams made up of players from all age groups and both sexes,” she said.

“One of the real positives for many people is that all the games are played at the one site – Stevenson Park, off Industrial Drive in Newcastle.

“It’s easily accessible and families don’t have to head off in all different directions for sporting commitments.

“This year there has been a real surge in whole families joining teams across the various grades.

“A number of husbands or wives have followed their partner into the club and the kids are taking part as well.”

Meehan said Maitland was the defending premiers in the first grade women’s competition and would be looking to go one step further in third grade after finishing runner-up last year.

She said the club would be fielding a first grade men’s team for the first time this year, with many former top-grade baseballers returning to play.

“This is our fifth season. We have had tremendous growth and will be looking at hosting a tournament in April,” she said.

The club will field first, second and third grade men’s teams, a team in each of the first, second and third grade women’s comp and two teams in women’s fifth grade.

There are mixed under-13 and under-15 teams and an under-18 side as well as Bennyball and T-ball teams for the youngsters.

The club’s trains at McKeachies Run Oval and soon hopes to have permanent facilities in place. Training is held on Wednesday.