By Mark Gullick
BERWICK’S Simone Wearne has created history by becoming the Australian Baseball Federation’s first female appointed to the coaching panel of an official national team.
The former Springvale Lions pitcher was selected as an assistant coach for the Australian women’s baseball team bound for the 2012 World Cup in Canada.
“It was a bit of a surprise,” Wearne said. “It’s definitely very exciting and it is just a huge honour for me.”
Wearne has World Cup experience; she was a member of the Australian teams twice, in 2006 at Taipei and 2008 in Japan.
Her 2006 performance led to inclusion in the All-World team.
“Australia has been punching well above its weight division in men’s and women’s,” she told baseballvictoria.com.au
“A lot of people in baseball don’t understand that and a lot of people outside the game don’t even know that we play women’s baseball in Australia.
“What the Australian women have done against powerhouse nations like Japan and the United States has just been phenomenal.
“Those countries are far better resourced than we are. They come from a strong baseball culture, they have massive corporate sponsors and their girls can take time off to prepare and to play.
“Yet we have been consistently able to finish among the top four nations in the world.”
As a player, Wearne achieved a breadth of personal accolades and awards at national, state and local level.
She won the Golden Arm in Victoria’s 2007 National Championship triumph and has won multiple premierships with Springvale.
Since retiring in 2008, Wearne has coached.
She was an assistant coach of the Australian junior girl’s team at the 2010 World Children’s Fair and is the current coach of the Springvale Division Two Women’s team.
Preparations for the Cup have begun.
“The Women’s Nationals (in 2011 and 2012) will give us a guide,” Wearne said. “But the squad won’t be finalised until 2012.”
By Mark Gullick