Chris Hartwig’s on a New Year’s Day mission for Qld Softball
MOST people will spend their New Year's morning sleeping off a big night, but for Hervey Bay softballer Chris Hartwig that simply is not an option.
The 16-year-old left the Bay at 3am this morning bound for Brisbane Airport, where he will return to Perth to represent his adopted state.
It is a homecoming of sorts for Hartwig, who grew up in the City of Light.
Hartwig will don the maroon of Queensland at the 26th under-17 Boys National Softball Championship, which will be held in Mirrabooka, about 10km from Western Australia's capital.
He spent much of Wednesday at Hervey Bay Softball grounds getting in extra training with dad Deane and brother Josh, who previously played for Australia.
"I worked on batting technique and catching, just to get that technique right before I go away," Hartwig said.
"Batting, it's more the swing motion and all that."
The tournament, which will feature teams from Victoria, ACT, New South Wales and host state Western Australia, starts Sunday and will run for seven days.
It is another step on the road to the top for Hartwig who dreams of representing his country.
But his focus is purely on bringing the Arthur Allsop Shield to Queensland.
"It's going to be hard; full-on softball," he said.
"New South Wales and ACT are normally the strongest sides. If all of our team plays well I'm sure we can be the top team."
Follow the competition's progress at www.softball.org.au/results.