Newcastle District Softball Association has rounded out a massive year of membership growth and interest with the top country gong at the Softball NSW Awards.
After a spike in membership saw them collect the membership award at the honours evening, the NDSA also collected the title of Country Affiliate of the Year, and finished as finalists in the affiliate of the year, website and social media awards, which association president Rebecca Jenkins said was “really exciting”.
“It’s great to get this recognition for the board, for the clubs and the officials, umpires, players, parents and spectators,” Jenkins said. “It just gives us that boost at the start of the season that we need, and it just puts a smile on my face.”
“It was a bit of a shock, we had a big growth in membership so that one wasn’t too much of a surprise, but the Country Affiliate award was definitely a great shock.”
Ms Jenkins said it was a “fantastic effort” from all of Newcastle’s clubs to increase their membership across the board, in the biggest surge in the state.
“A lot of clubs are seeing a decline in membership because of other sports, other activities and of course the beach and Nippers being really popular, so it’s great to see that membership is up,” she said.
“The clubs all were really active on social media, and that really gave the entire association the reach it needed to grow our numbers. It’s really great to see the response.”
The Novocastrian based Strikers were also a finalist in the club of the year at the awards, and finished sixth overall on the national Homeplate Ladder – the highest finish for a New South Wales based organisation.