Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Redlands couple to lead QLD campaigns on local diamonds

Redlands couple Jason Nathan and Kelly McKellar-Nathan have a double Queensland victory planned for the national softball finals to be held in Redlands next week.
The final round of the 2010/2011 Gilley’s Shield national open women’s tournament and the complete 2011 John Reid Shield national open men’s tournament will be hosted by Redlands Softball Association from next Tuesday 15 February to Saturday 19 February. 
Jason is the captain of the Queensland Patriots open men’s softball team, and Kelly is one of the most experienced members of the Queensland Heat open women’s softball team.

The pair agreed it would be a dream come true for Queensland to achieve victory in both the men’s and women’s national tournaments in front of a home crowd.
“My ambition is to win the Gilley’s Shield at home!  It would be even more extraordinary to be part of a double national championship, and Patriots win the John Reid Shield at home!” Kelly said. 
“My ambition is the same as my wife’s. To win the John Reid Shield at home and share that win with the Heat taking out the Gilley’s Shield on home soil!,” Jason said.
Fellow members of Redlands Softball Association will compete alongside Kelly and Jason for Queensland. Ngamoko Hiku, Aperira Stone, Jade Wall and Stacey Webber will play as members of the Queensland Heat line-up, and Andrew Blackshaw, Guy Covacin, Shaun Goffer, Julian Jemmott, Josh King and Luke Van de Greindt will play for the Queensland Patriots.
The Queensland Heat will begin the final round of the 2010/2011 Gilley’s Shield in runners-up position after strong performances in the first three rounds of the tournament played over the last three months in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth respectively.

The Queensland Heat are trailing their arch rivals the NSW Firestars by just one game in the premier domestic tournament, in which they hold an impressive history with wins in 2006, 2007 and 2009 before finishing a disappointing fourth place in 2010.
The chance to win back the national shield in front of a home crowd should be more than enough to motivate the Queensland Heat players; however positions in the Aussie Spirit Squad to work towards next year’s Women’s World Championship will also be up for grabs.
The Queensland Patriots will be looking to build on their third place finish in the 2010 John Reid Shield, and also to impress national selectors who will be scouting talent to help defend the Aussie Steelers’ world title at the next Men’s World Softball Championship to be held in 2013.
World Softball Championships are now the premier international softball events following the exclusion of the sport from the 2012 and 2016 Olympic programs.

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