White shines to make fourth softball world titles

22 Feb 2018

Belinda White

A WHIRLWIND few months has paid dividends for champion athlete Belinda White who was selected in the Australian team for the Women's Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan, between August 2 and 18.

White's selection is her fourth time she will compete at a world title.

But there won't be too much backslapping just yet for the 29-year-old as she continues her rehab to mend a fractured right wrist suffered at the recent Asia Pacific Cup.

White was over the moon with her selection in the national team.

''This was the longest week ever, just waiting for the phone call,'' White said.

''It's a relief to be selected. The injury I received happened in the semi final when I was hit by a ball.

''I had to miss the rest of the innings and the final (Australia beaten by Japan).

''But the injury will only be a four or five-week one so the advice was to make the most of having rest.

''I can do running to keep myself fit but hopefully everything will be fine.''

White, South Australia's only representative in the 17-strong team dominated by New South Wales and Queensland players, said there was an air of confidence about the team.

''I can't wait,'' White said. ''I think our chances are through the roof, there's a different feel this year and a lot of excietement.''

White played in world teams for Australia in 2012 (Yukon, Canada, bronze), in 2014 Haarlem (Netherlands, bronze) and in 2016 (Surrey, Canada).

White also is waiting for Softball Australia to decide on who will represent Australia at its inaugural involvement in the National Fastpitch Pro League competition in the US between May and July where the athletes will play professionally.

The competition is part of a plan for the national team to receive top-class matches as a lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The coming world titles also could prove a strong pointer for selection in Tokyo with Australia looking to launch itself back among the top countries.

Australia was a strong medal contender until and including the 2008 Beijing Games when the sport weas excluded after that from the Olympic program.

While White is the only South Australian to make the Australian team for the world titles, SA excelled to have five players, including White in the national squad.

The other SA players are Jordan Lambert, Steph Trzcinski (returning from the US after three years living and playing softball), Chelsea Robinson and Maddie Cameron.

While the commitment for the Pro League and world titles could stretch some players it won't be a worry for White. She works in the family business at Burns for Blinds with her mother her boss.

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