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Homeplate Blog
Since the release of Homeplate, 67 affiliates have registered and are reaping the benefits of the great resources available to them, and we expect many more will register in the coming weeks.
A recent addition to the website is Homeplate Blog, a dedicated forum where affiliates can discuss what’s happening out in club-land, share success stories, new programs and tips and strategies that have worked to get more people playing softball. So join in the discussion now.  
Planning
It’s that time of the year when many of you will be planning for the upcoming season so we thought we’d provide some valuable resources that may help you: a step-by-step guide to planning, templates and samples developed and used by clubs. Go to Homeplate and click on Planning (but don’t forget to register first!).
National Social 7s Day 
Saturday 29 August is National Social 7s Day.
Social 7s is Softball Australia’s new slowpitch form of softball that is fast, fun and easy to play. Softball Australia is encouraging every affiliated association across the country to get involved by running a free Social 7s come and try day on Saturday 29 August. Participating associations will receive three Social 7s balls and one dozen Easton 888 balls – FREE! Associations can register to participate by clicking here
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Schools show interest in softball through Sporting Schools 
In last month’s edition of Homeplate News we introduced the Sporting Schools Program (SSP). This edition highlights the interest the school network has shown for softball, what your club or association needs to do to meet this demand and a recommended pathway to follow to ensure Sporting Schools participants transition to club competition.
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mySoftball Community
mySoftball Community training to the administrators of our sport has commenced, with Matthew Horne, mySoftball Community Manager, delivering daily webinars on the Membership Database module. Matthew is about to embark on a road trip, which will see him driving more than 7,000kms to remote locations around Australia.
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More support on the way
Face-to-face support is a proven strategy in helping affiliates improve how they operate and assisting them to address their needs.  Softball Australia is committed to investing in people - on the ground in every state - to provide affiliates with tailored support to become more effective, efficient and sustainable.  To date, Softball Australia has contributed to the implementation of Association Coordinators in Qld and Vic and recently signed Memoranda of Understanding with Softball ACT, Softball NT and Softball SA, realising a financial contribution by Softball Australia of more than $210,000.  Contact your State Association about accessing face-to-face Club or Association Development support in your state. 
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Funding opportunity for local Sporting Clubs
Are your facilities in need of an upgrade? Do you require funding support to improve your facilities? If the answer is yes, look no further than Holden who has made a commitment to helping grassroots sport for the next 10 years by giving local clubs the chance to upgrade their facilities with the Holden Home Ground Advantage project. Grants of up to $10,000 or $100,000 are available.
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Opportunity to support a good cause
Do you have any equipment lying around that you no longer use that could go to a good cause? If so, Blackstone, a remote community in WA, is in desperate need of softball equipment to support a group of Indigenous high school girls who are interested in participating in a Community Tournament in September. If you would like to donate to this, or a similar cause, please contact Tim Hatzi, Softball Australia’s Club and Community Development Coordinator on 03 9417 0022 or tim.hatzi@softball.org.au.
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Echunga Softball Club, back better than ever
In analysing membership numbers, Softball Australia has identified a number of clubs and associations that have recorded significant membership growth over the last three years. From these results, a League Ladder has been established to recognise the top 20 clubs that have achieved Softball Australia’s strategic goal of at least 5% membership growth, and who have a membership base above 50. To view the League Ladder click here. One of the success stories is the revival of the Echunga Demons Softball Club from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia who are currently sitting 7th on the Ladder. Softball Australia spoke with President, Randy Siemens and Secretary, Kathy Webb, to find out what strategies were implemented to achieve this success.
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June: Edition 1.

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Homeplate News is for everyone and we welcome your input, so please let us know if there is anything of interest you would like to see in next month's edition. Email your suggestions to clubdevelopment@softball.org.au.

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