Bay of Islands have returned to the softball mound and are once again an affiliate of Softball New Zealand.
Softball ceased in the Far North some 18 years ago but through several passionate volunteers committed to the future of their tamariki softball has been revived.
Mel and Del Rameka are modern day pioneers of softball in the north, they have worked tirelessly over three years to reconnect softball to the schools and community.
They are well supported by a working committee of Feron Rogers, Suzee Ross, Trisha Vaka, Cynthia Beattie, Joe Henare and Anne Stillwell who have grown it from 15 teams in 2014/15 to 20 teams in 2017/18.
The game has largely grown on the back of preseason road shows. The 14-day events take in 24 schools, two schools per day targeting 35-60 kids per session covering basic drills, skills and fundamentals, providing children a taste of the game.
Del Rameka, the secretary of Bay of Islands Softball, said the support they've had is brilliant.
"We have been doing this for the past three years and have found that this works for us and is our form of development, as the interest for the game from the kids, teachers/ parents is overwhelming," she said.
"Our goal three years ago when we formed, was to eventually register with Softball NZ so we can expose and open those pathways for our young ones to see the reality that softball has to offer.
"After gradually building softball we feel we are now ready to take the next step with our juniors [10-18 years] and introduce them to another level of softball."
Over the last three years, Bay of Islands have been entering teams into the NZ Navy tournament. The numbers of children wanting to play have been increasing each year which is a big coup for the club.
"Softball here in the Northland has turned into a real whanau orientated sport with parents, nans, pops, aunts, uncles, cuzzies and older siblings turning up to either coach our children or just to support," she said.