Western Desert women show softball skills at national comp

Synarah MurphyNorth West Telegraph
Yapurra player and co-coaches Lucelle Francis and Sharonette Tom with the Newcrest Mining Ltd Wester Desert Shield Perpetual Trophy
Camera IconYapurra player and co-coaches Lucelle Francis and Sharonette Tom with the Newcrest Mining Ltd Wester Desert Shield Perpetual Trophy Credit: Picture: Renato Fiore

A squad of 19 Martu women have returned to their communities after a successful week of exhibition games as part of the National Softball Championships.

The women, who were competing for the Ngurra Kujungka Western Desert Shield, played three exhibition games against each other during the week-long tournament.

The two Martu squads were Kakarra, from the eastern desert, representing the communities of Parnngurr, Kunawarritji, Punmu and Kiwirrkurra; and Yaparra, from Western Desert areas including the Warralong, Jigalong, Nullagine and Parnpajinya communities.

Ngurra Kujungka program manager Mike McMonigal said the women appreciated the experiences on tour.

“They will take back to their communities stories of their impressions and learnings,” he said.

“We are thankful for the three-year partnership between Newcrest and Softball WA, which will see more Martu squads participate at these national championships over the next year.”

“The girls were exposed to a high-performance environment. The idea is to share their skills and knowledge and hopefully give some motivation and encouragement to girls in their communities.”

The Pilbara girls played their hearts out, and Sharonette Tom was named most valuable player.

Yapurra player and co-coach Lucelle Francis said the trip has given the girls the ability to expand their knowledge.

“Taking our girls to softball tournaments where States compete against each other is an eye-opener for the Nullagine girls — they see different techniques and learn new skills in how to play softball better,” Francis said.

“These girls are building their confidence. It’s also a good opportunity for all the Western desert girls to get together to know each other better.”

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