Help­ing soft­ball club find for­mer glory

With the soft­ball sea­son un­der way, you will find Na­dia Marsh com­pet­ing on the di­a­mond, sup­port­ing from the side­lines and even scrub­bing the floors at the Metro Mt Al­bert Sports Club. The Metro Soft­ball chair­woman told re­porter Jess Lee about her pas­sion

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

It was logic that first brought Na­dia Marsh on to the soft­ball di­a­mond but a love for the game which saw her stick it out.

The Metro Soft­ball player has been a part of the club since 1999, be­com­ing chair­woman three years ago as well as step­ping up to coach the same divi­sion one women’s team she plays in.

Over the past four sea­sons Marsh has played a hand in help­ing the women’s side climb from divi­sion three to one, re­gain­ing some of its for­got­ten flair for the sport along the way.

‘‘I love this sport,’’ she says. ‘‘Play­ing and coach­ing is great but cer­tainly as I got older I did re­ally think there was more I could do in terms of off-field things.’’

Cricket was her game as a young ath­lete un­til a neigh­bour sug­gested she give the di­a­mond code a go when she reached high school due to the lim­ited op­tions avail­able to girls in cricket at the time.

Marsh’s nat­u­ral tal­ent for the game saw her quickly rise through the ranks of the Mt Al­bert Ram­blers se­nior side at the age of 15.

She dropped out of the sport only to pick it up again a few years later at Metro.

The club started from hum­ble be­gin­nings in an old trac­tor shed in 1957 when Metro Col­lege Sports Club win­ter code play­ers de­cided to add soft­ball to their club’s sum­mer sea­son of­fer­ings.

To­day, the soft­ball club is a sub­di­vi­sion of what has be­come known as the Metro Mt Al­bert Sports Club.

‘‘Metro Sports Club is get­ting to be stronger and our soft­ball of­fer­ings are get­ting stronger,’’ Marsh says.

‘‘Metro Soft­ball was an amaz­ing club six or seven years ago.’’

It was once the proud home of cham­pion pre­mier men’s and ti­tle-win­ning women’s teams.

‘‘We haven’t had a cham­pi­onship win­ning team for quite a while and that was my goal to build up this women’s team from se­cond divi­sion to first divi­sion to open up path­ways for our younger kids.’’

That is where the fu­ture of the club lies as they start to re­build, she says.

This sea­son Metro soft­ball is work­ing with Cen­tral City Base­ball to de­liver a full di­a­mond sport pro­gramme of­fer­ing tee­ball, soft­ball and base­ball.

‘‘We want to get more kids into our sport again. We’ve had a 100 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of un­der-10s sign­ing up in the last two sea­sons.’’

Real di­a­mond: Metro Soft­ball Club chair­woman Na­dia Marsh is help­ing to re­build the club.

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