The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By JOHN SUPA
AFTER eight years in hibernation the Goroka Softball Association aims to make its presence felt within the top echelon of other softball strongholds during the National Softball Championships at the National Sports Institute in Goroka in April.
For this to happen, the interim officials will be arranging double header games every weekend during the season proper, which starts next weekend to ensure their players are in peak form to represent Goroka.
The good news for Goroka is that over the last eight years, minors who were following their parents to the NSI diamonds are now in their adolescence or teens and if their performances during the last few weekends of pre-season games are any indication, Goroka would be a surprise pack during the tournament.
The event is expected to draw both men’s and women’s teams from major centres of Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Rabaul, Kokopo, Lihir, Kavieng, Buka, Kimbe and Tabubil, with minnows Popondetta, Ramu, Mt Hagen and Alotau.
The Bird of Paradise and the Pacific Gardens Hotels, the self-contained spacious Mendikwae Lodge and more than 20 other lodges and guesthouses located in the tranquility of the natural Goroka climate, would provide ideal billets for the visiting teams.
Goroka Softball Association interim officials said Goroka had hosted previous national (both junior and senior) championships and were confident of hosting the event successfully.
Meanwhile, the final pre-season games for the 2010-11 season wind up on Sunday with matches scheduled for both diamonds.
On diamond one, Malangan take on Faniufa Highway Tigers followed by Brown Eagles rubbing shoulders with Steven Bebi Mondia’s Lopi Brothers. The women’s game on that diamond would see Malangan testing the might Lopi Sisters.
In diamond two, a tough match is on card when United Sisters face minnows Medics into the competition.
The interesting part of that game would be the unusual dominance of Simbu girls taking on the might of NGI women in the experience of Shirley Tomangana, Eva Ongapa and company.
Heather, Lisa Marie, Sophie, Mainel, Alicia and Rosalyn John from Chuave will be backed up by the Sam sisters of Lisa and Rosario, Nayel, Vanessa and Mary Womola.
Laikos and Tigers play in the other women’s game, while in the men’s, Minogere Royals face Laikos.