HEADS TURNED, faces looked amazed, and eyes focussed on reading the bold type ‘Western Desert Softball Tour’ as the tight-knit unit of black and red shirts entered the Softball WA headquarters for the first time.
Friday 9 January marked the day many young women from the Western Desert region first laid eyes on an international standard softball stadium.
After a long two-day drive from the communities to Perth, girls from eight remote Western Desert localities were excited and equally anxious from the attention they received walking through the Softball WA gates to watch the Australian Open Women’s national championships semi-finals. Sponsors and partners of Ngurra Kujungka were guests at the Western Desert Softball Tour jumper presentation where the 32 Martu and Pintupi girls were organised into two teams.
The Kakarra (meaning East) team drew representatives from Jigalong, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kiwirrkurra communities, while the Yapurra (West) team comprised players from the Warralong, Nullagine and Parnpajinya communities.
The girls were proud to receive their playing shirts and determined to represent their teams well at the Western Desert exhibition game to be played the following day.
With the girls staying to watch a very impressive standard of softball displayed in the semi-finals, it wasn’t long before questions were thrown at Ebony Humble about learning how to pitch and bat like the women representing their respective states.
As the girls reflected on what they learnt over night, excitement was in the air around camp at breakfast the following morning. The girls were thrilled to receive kit bags along with cleats fitted by Fielders Choice, and were ready in their Western Desert uniforms to depart for Softball WA headquarters.
Arriving to watch the preliminary finals, the girls observed a warm-up completed by the Western Flames, which they replicated on the back diamond in preparation for their curtain-raiser game. Once the finals finished, the Western Desert girls nervously entered the big diamond 1 dug-outs in front of a generous crowd.
Mentors for each team spoke to the girls about focusing on having fun; nerves were settled; and the game was soon under way, together with running commentary from Softball WA representative Trevor Schorer.
View/Dowload this Sports Report as a PDF: Martu Sports Report No. 17