A Levin softball team is training ahead of the first international fixture held in the town since it hosted the New Zealand Black Sox at Donnelly Park more than 20 years ago.
Levin United is training twice a week before their match against a Denmark U18 team early next month at Playford Park, buoyed by a rare chance to play an international side.
The Danish U18 team are young and most of the Levin United side are veterans of the game with a lifetime of softball experience. Their average age is 50.
Denmark is using the match as a build-up to the World Series in Palmerston North and would also play a match against the New Zealand Black Sox U18 team in Levin too.
Levin United player-coach Adam Hori Te Pa said he took a phone call from Denmark coach Kevin Stockford at the end of last year asking if they could provide his team with a game to ready them for the 12-team World Series.
"I jumped at the chance," he said.
Hori Te Pa said they had managed to also organise a coaching clinic for junior players with the tourists, with players from a popular primary school league expected to turn up in droves.
"That was a real bonus and these kids will pick up a lot from that," he said.
Levin would also host the Junior Black Sox to play a match against Denmark, a few days after the Levin United match.
Both games would be played on the diamond at Playford Park. The Levin United vs Denmark match is on Saturday, February 15, and the NZ Junior Black Sox verses Denmark match on Wednesday, February 19.
Top umpires had been engaged for both games. Dennis Smith will oversee the Denmark-Levin United game, while Wiremu Tamaki will umpire the Junior Black Sox match.