Sport

Ex-Olympian Tanya Harding's plan to save softball

CHAMPION: Australia’s Tanya Harding pitches during their bronze medal softball match against Japan at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Harding will lead a training clinic in Hervey Bay on December 17.
CHAMPION: Australia’s Tanya Harding pitches during their bronze medal softball match against Japan at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Harding will lead a training clinic in Hervey Bay on December 17. DAN PELED AAP

FOUR Olympic medals, more than 260 games for Australia and the only player to ever win every award at a national championship.

There is not much Queensland and Australian Softball Hall of Famer Tanya Harding has not done in her long softball career, and now Fraser Coast players will have a chance to learn from the best.

Harding will bring her Champions Softball Academy to Hervey Bay on December 17.

With sessions will including pitching, catching, hitting and fielding, participants will get a thorough education from one of the household names of Australian softball.

"It's about getting more exposure for the kids," Harding said.

"Hopefully I can bring a few new drills for them to use, but also inspire them to be creative and come up with different ways to train."

The clinic will be open to a small number of players who can register their interest with Hervey Bay Softball Association president Donna Jenkins.

She said it was a great opportunity for younger players to rub shoulders and learn from one of the Australia's best softballers, and hoped it would attract more players to the sport.

"Oh, it's awesome," she said. "She is the ultimate.

"A lot of kids are away on holiday but we're expecting quite a few players to go.

"I'd seen she held one in Bundaberg so I flicked her a message about coming to Hervey Bay and she was very open to it."

Harding will run clinics in Gladstone and Bundaberg on the way to Hervey Bay.

She conceded her sport had experienced a major decrease in player numbers, but hoped events like these could help put softball in the right direction.

"I remember there were times playing at Downey Park (Brisbane's home of softball) when there would be games everywhere and it was packed, now we're only using half of it," Harding said.

"In this age kids do a lot of different things, but it's now more important than ever for kids to get out and be active."

Like "Hervey Bay Softball Association" or "Tanya #07 - Champions Softball Academy" on Facebook for more information.

Email Donna Jenkins at russandon4@gmail.com to secure your spot.

Topics:  softball