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Easter tourney to bring curtain down on season

THE Tairawhiti softball season finishes this weekend with a two-day Easter tournament.

Two divisions of four teams each will take part in the tournament, which was designed to raise funds for the newly-formed Young Gunnz team.

The aim of Young Gunnz was to introduce young players to senior grade competition and they have already started fundraising to cover their travel costs to tournaments and for a new uniform.

Team manager Leesa Kingi said the team had been working hard over the last two months and had already raised a significant amount of money, but there was still more to be done.

Despite the level of senior grade softball being a significant step up from lower grades, several kids were eager to play and the team were formed to offer that opportunity, she said.

“The future is these kids,” said Kingi. “There's hardly any young players coming up through the A grade.”

Two Young Gunnz teams will play in the tournament — one in each grade.

The more experienced players will play in the A division while Young Gunnz Part 2 are in the B division.

Kingi said Tairawhiti was playing mixed games, however, regional tournaments did not allow mixed teams so next season they will would have male and female Young Gunnz teams.

Based on how successful this weekend is, there is already talk of expanding the competition next year and potentially offering prize money.

This year's competition has attracted teams from out of town, with Flaxmere College sending a team to play in the B division and Hawke's Bay team Fast Pitch Sliders in the A division.