LITTLE LEAGUE: A Far North Coast baseballer at the recentAustralian Little League Championship in Lismore. The annual Timberjacks carnival starts tomorrow.
LITTLE LEAGUE: A Far North Coast baseballer at the recentAustralian Little League Championship in Lismore. The annual Timberjacks carnival starts tomorrow. Jason O'Brien (Kangaroo Photos)

Friendly baseball carnival boosts players

A BUSY year of Far North Coast baseball continues when the annual Hurford Hardwood Timberjacks carnival starts tomorrow at Albert Park, Lismore.

After hosting both the Australian Little League and Senior League championships last month, the focus turns to the three-day Timberjacks carnival.

It is an important event for the FNC baseball community, with a focus on participation, having fun and learning new skills rather than winning.

Players have the opportunity to form a bond with teammates who are usually opponents, and gain knowledge from the experience of a variety of new coaches.

With teams travelling from Brisbane, Gold Coast and areas around NSW, more than 230 players will take part in the tournament.

FNC has seven teams participating from under-12 to under-20 age divisions.

In a boost for girls within the sport, this year three women's youth teams are involved in the tournament.

Two teams are travelling from Brisbane and one from NSW, giving girls the opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, and be involved with like-minded female players.

Molly Donald, a local female player who has been involved in the Timberjacks tournament for several years, was due to take part in her sixth tournament before a sudden knee injury this week.

"Timberjacks is different to many of the other tournaments I usually participate in,” she said. "It has a different atmosphere. While it's still competitive, there is a much friendlier side to this compared to something like Nationals.

"As a female in a male-dominated sport, it's nice to see a friendly tournament where my ability genuinely feels valued by coaches and players.

"The appreciation shown and encouragement is amazing to receive and it can hopefully influence younger women to step onto the baseball field and feel like part of the team.”

Another player that has played at the friendly tournament for a number of years, Noah Worgan, said: "I love this tournament because it's a good, fun tournament with high-quality games.

"We get the chance to play with people we usually play against, build friendships and learn new skills while making some of my best baseball memories.”

This tournament brings teams, coaches, officials and parents to the area, injecting funds back into the region while showcasing it as well.

Games run from Friday through to Sunday, with each team playing games every day.