Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Mom from Australia Region Champion Team Describes Excitement of Coming to Williamsport

Image Courtesy of Little League Baseball®
South Williamsport, PA - The Little League Baseball® World Series brings together 16 teams from across America and all corners of the globe, and no team has as a longer journey than the team from Australia. This year, that team hails from Hills Little League in Sydney.

As the players, coaches, and parents get ready for the long trip, Natalie North has had time to reflect on her son Roan’s and his teammates’ accomplishment of winning the Australia Region Tournament and punching a ticket to South Williamsport, Pa.

“The boys and their coaches have worked very, very hard towards this and to realize that all that training had paid off was indescribable,” said Mrs. North. “Knowing that they are heading to Williamsport for the Little League World Series, which is the dream of all Little League players was beyond exciting.”

Hills defeated Central Coast 7-3 in the Australia Region Championship Game on Monday, June 13. Hills played great baseball throughout the tournament – held in their home province of New South Wales. And, because of they play in the southern hemisphere where the first day of winter is in June, the team now faces the challenge of having to wait over two months before playing another competitive game.

“The first week after winning the National Title we all had a break, it had been a long road of training so I think the kids, the coaches and definitely the parents needed it!” said Mrs. North. “Since qualifying, the boys have been training just as hard as they were prior to the State and National carnivals.”

Mrs. North says the focus has now turned to preparing the team for their trip to the United States. While several of the players and coaches have been to America before (as well as Japan and Taiwan), she says there is still some nervousness associated with the whole experience.

“We know the coaches will look after them, but nobody looks after your own kids like yourself so we worry about the usual stuff,” said Mrs. North. “Will they eat properly, will they get enough sleep, managing their suitcases, and making sure they don’t lose everything they own! They will be away from us for a long time, longer than any of them have been away from home with little access to family, but they are Aussies, we make them tough so we know they’ll be fine!”

More than anything, this down period has offered Mrs. North and the rest of the Hills community a chance to reflect on what has been an amazing season that has seen the team grow both as players and as young men.

“On a team level it has shown the boys that if you set a goal (no matter how big) with hard work and dedication these can be realized,” said Mrs. North. “It has been a long build up but now they are counting down the days to an experience of a lifetime.”