Echunga Softball Club, back better than ever
After closing the doors in September 2000 due to a significant membership decline, the Echunga Softball Club in the Hills Softball Association, South Australia, are back better than ever. The rebirth of the club in 2011 serves as the perfect example of rebuilding a club. Echunga Demons is one of Australia’s fastest growing clubs, building a member base of 65 in just two years. This was enough to land them a spot on the Top 20 League Ladder for membership growth.
To find out the secret to their success, Softball Australia spoke to club President, Randy Siemens and Secretary, Kathy Webb.
In 2011, Randy re-established the club to develop a men’s A Grade team. What started out as an opportunity for young men to participate in higher competition sparked a renewed interest in the softball community and the club grew from there. The team was very successful with 2 players selected to the national squad and 2 players representing the state squad.
In their second season, Echunga was able to field a men’s and women’s B Grade team alongside its current A Grade squad with all three making finals. In the 2013-14 season, Echunga added a C Grade women’s team, an U15 mixed and a T-Ball team with the existing A Grade men’s team and the B Grade women’s team tasting premiership success, with the latter going back-to-back in the 2014-15 season.
The secret to this on-field triumph is a fantastic, hard-working team behind the scenes. The Echunga crew, led by Randy and Kathy, have worked hard to establish a good system of governance, and policies and procedures whilst also developing the club’s culture by encouraging inclusive, social and fair club values. The club has also enjoyed the benefits of being involved in the STARCLUB Program since registering in October 2012. Developed by the Office of Recreation and Sport in South Australia, STARCLUB was designed to help South Australian clubs and associations identify areas for improvement within their club. A STARCLUB is classified as a well-run club where quality coaches and officials work alongside valued volunteers in a safe and welcoming environment. In Randy and Kathy’s own words, “Being involved in the STARCLUB program has greatly contributed to the success of our club as we have had access to a wider range of facilities, tools and grants to ensure our club is the best it can be.”
Congratulations to Randy, Kathy and everyone working behind the scenes at the Echunga Softball Club for such an inspiring success story of growth and governance.
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