Baseball Australia’s aspirations to grow the league in Australia and develop pathways for future female players is heavily reliant on raising more capital after the governing body announced two new fundraising projects this week.
In partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation, Baseball Australia is seeking to raise an initial $250,000 to establish a professional women’s baseball competition, plus $240,000 to assist the Australian men’s team qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, with all donations to the projects tax deductible.
BA has created A League of Her Own (www.aleagueofherown.com.au) to create a pathway for elite female baseballers and attract international players to participate in a domestic national league.
Currently, high-performance funding for elite teams and programs is explicitly allocated for male outcomes only, leaving BA with no other choice than to seek donations from the baseball family and sports community.
BA Chief Executive, Cam Vale, said the time is right to establish a women’s professional league in Australia.
“We are looking to create a pathway for our elite women baseballers and create a domestic league with international reach.
“This league would increase junior girl’s participation throughout Australia and give women an equal platform to showcase their talent,” Vale said.
“We are seeking at least 1,000 donors to donate $250 each.”
In addition to A League of Her Own project, BA has launched its 24for20 (www.24for20.com) fundraising project to assist the Australian men’s team to qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Australia claimed the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 24for20 aims to secure 24 high net worth donors each donating $10,000 in preparation for the 2020 Games qualifiers.
“Australia is currently ranked seventh in the World Baseball Softball Confederation world rankings, and only five other national teams will join host country Japan at the Olympics,” Vale said.
“We rank 32nd out of 35 Olympic sports for funding per athlete and an extra $10,000 per athlete would help close the funding gap and allow us to purchase the world-class technology we need to match it with baseball’s big nations.”
“Donations to these projects will help us chase our goals over the next 18 months and help attract a new generation of baseballers – boys and girls – to take the sport in Australia into the future.”
As one of only five countries to have medalled in baseball, silver 2004 Athens Olympics, and one of only eight nations to compete in Baseball at three or more Olympic Games, Australia faces the very real possibility of not only qualifying but winning another medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.