Tauranga City Baseball president Shane Woolley says the club's focus this season will again be on increasing membership.

The club is holding an open day on Sunday which Woolley says will have a carnival atmosphere with a batting cage as well as batting and pitching competitions.

"It really is about numbers, you can't do anything unless you have the numbers. We need to get more volunteers to help out, we need those people to step up and coach teams. We want the game to last, once we move on we want the club to still be here.

"We have a senior competition starting mid-October and at the moment we have four teams, hoping to make it five. We will play on Monday evenings and they will be five-inning games, or until it gets dark."

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Woolley believes the sport should come naturally to New Zealand athletes.

"We have good athletes for baseball, we are strong in softball so those are transferable skills, as are cricket skills.

"Baseball is a fast game, you get opportunity more than just once to have a crack at hitting a ball. It is an individual as well as a team sport and we have to play it more regularly with the kids here."

Woolley hopes New Zealand's professional team the Auckland Tuatara, who made their debut season in the Australian Baseball League last season, will provide inspiration to players.

"It is great to have the Auckland Tuatara, they can do something similar to what the Breakers did for basketball. The kids can see if they work hard they can play professional baseball."

The club will host a Waitakere team on October 5 in a pre-season fixture for the Auckland club. Woolley says they will play a team of Tauranga's more competitive players.

For more information go to www.taurangacitybaseball.co.nz

Tauranga City Baseball Open Day
Sunday, September 29
11am-2pm, Gordon Spratt Reserve

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