Thur­low fam­ily takes a swing at suc­cess

The Invercargill Eye - - BACKYARD BANTER - RE­BECCA MOORE Re­sults:

Bat­ter up... an­other Thur­low steps up to the plate.

Soft­ball is in the blood for 13-year-old Jackie Thur­low. She com­peted in the four-day-long South Is­land Un­der 15 Cham­pi­onships this week, along with more than 150 young­sters at Sur­rey Park in In­ver­cargill.

Jackie is one of 10 chil­dren in her fam­ily who plays or has played soft­ball, as well as her mum Maria who plays and is a man­ager of the Un­der 17 Girls team.

Her older brother Sam also cur­rently plays for the NZ Army soft­ball team.

Maria said the fam­ily got in­volved fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of an­other fam­ily they were friends with, and then the sport just stuck.

‘‘They like it, it’s en­joy­able and it doesn’t take as long as cricket.’’

The chil­dren have all rep­re­sented Southland and played in var­i­ous national com­pe­ti­tions.

Southland Soft­ball As­so­ci­a­tion board chair­woman Rata Hopa said it was the first time In­ver­cargill had hosted the com­pe­ti­tion since 2014.

There were eight boys’ teams and five girls’ teams com­pet­ing from ar­eas in­clud­ing Southland, Otago, Can­ter­bury, Ti­maru and Marl­bor­ough.

‘‘It’s al­ways good to get a tour­na­ment to In­ver­cargill. We don’t get a lot and it’s a lot of work.’’

Host­ing the com­pe­ti­tion in Southland again was good ex­po­sure for the sport, which had been grow­ing in the re­gion es­pe­cially among younger chil- dren, aged 3 and 4 to 16 years.

‘‘We do well for be­ing at the bot­tom of New Zealand. For us we are very proud of it,’’ Hopa said.

‘‘We do what we can and al­ways try to sup­port our chil­dren.’’

For the 2017/2018 sea­son there are 415 se­nior and 553 ju­niors who are play­ing, coach­ing um­pir­ing in Southland.

Ear­lier in the month the U19 Boys’ Cham­pi­onships were held in Christchurch, and the Girls’ Cham­pi­onships in North Har­bour. This week­end the U17 Boys’ Cham­pi­onships will be held in Palmer­ston North and the Girls’ and Cham­pi­onships in Dunedin.

Girls’ Un­der 15 - first - Can­ter­bury, sec­ond - Can­ter­bury De­vel­op­ment, third - Southland.

Boys’ Un­der 15 - first - Can­ter­bury, sec­ond - Can­ter­bury De­vel­op­ment, third - Ao­rangi from Ti­maru.


Maria Thur­low with some of her chil­dren: Alex, Scott, Isaac, Terry, Ha­ley and Jackie. All have ei­ther played or play soft­ball.

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