As one of the youngest players in the New Zealand under-19 softball squad at the 2017 Australasian Softball Championships, Will Macdonald is well on his way to achieving his dream of playing for the Black Sox.
The 16-year-old right-handed pitcher, son of Tony and Bobbie Macdonald, has just returned home after representing New Zealand in the Junior Black Sox team. But he’s under no illusion that the road to playing for the New Zealand men’s national softball team will be easy. “I’ve still got another five or six years of hard grind before they might start looking at me,” Will says. “But the hard work doesn’t phase me, I enjoy the sport.”
Will has been playing softball since his Nan gave him a softball mitt for Christmas when he was seven years old. His Mum and Dad have spent hours catching and fielding in the back yard with him and are both very supportive of his dream to go all the way to the top, he says.
After he was chosen to play for the Junior Black Sox, Will attended a gruelling three-day training camp in Wellington on Queen’s Birthday weekend, which was one of the hardest things he’s ever done, he says.
“It was extremely tough – one of the days started at 8am and went to 6pm and it was purely testing our fitness. They had us running 4km carrying huge logs with hill sprints in between. At one point I felt like throwing up, but I knew I had to try and stay composed in front of the coaches.” Fitness is hugely important, and he’ll continue to train hard through the off-season, with the aim of being selected to compete in the world champs in Canada next July.
Will is thankful for the sponsorship he has received from Rangitāne o Wairau. Also to Softball NZ who have just signed a further sponsorship with ‘Temperzone’ for the New Zealand Junior Black Sox through to the completion of the 2018 WBSC U19 Junior Men’s World Championship in Prince Albert, Canada.
He iti hoki te mokoroa nāna i kakati te kahikatea!