Two young softball players from Port Adelaide have been Selected in the Under 15's Australian squad and are doing their community proud.
By
Jennifer Scherer

Source:
NITV News
13 Jul 2019 - 3:13 PM  UPDATED 13 Jul 2019 - 3:13 PM

Pulling on the green and gold, Charlize Callaghan and Taj Kite are young players to watch on the softball scene.

Having travelled to the International Friendship Tournament in Brisbane for a week-long competition, it's the first time the pair have represented their country.

Hailing from Narungga, Nukunu and Yankunjatjara country, Charlize is proud to represent her community on the international stage.

"It was a really good experience, I learnt so much and made so many friends," Charlize told NITV News.

"Being exposed to so many coaches from different states was an amazing opportunity."

Charlize also attributes the Diamond sports program at her school, Seaton High, as a major part of the preparation for her trip as well as a source of support.  

"The facilities that I can access through the program are a real point of difference," Charlize said.

"I would like to play professionally one day. 

"My goal is to make the state team for Nationals next year and hopefully if I make that, I would love to be selected in the Worlds team and play for Australia again."

Coming from a family of softballers, Charlize's mother Lynnie Callaghan told NITV, her selection was "really quite exciting." 

"It means a lot, it's something she loves doing," Ms Callaghan said.

"Charlize always wants to be at her best and it's been real learning for her this week because [playing at this level] it's another level of pressure."

Despite missing out on the tournament finals by one point, Charlize said the team have become close friends.

"By the end of the week we all gelled and played as one team but it took a while to get to know each other."

A unique connection

Discovering that Charlize and Taj's great-grandfather's from Point Pearce fought together in World War Two, it's a unique turn of events that the pair are playing together for their country.

15-year-old Taj Kite, plays third base for the U-15 Australian Boys side.

This week's Friendship tournament meant a lot to the Narungga youngster who ended up playing softball by chance, recruited at one of his sister's games.

"I usually play baseball," Taj told NITV News.

"But my sister plays softball." 

Taking up the game in the footsteps of his Dad, David Kite told NITV News that his son "will probably go a lot further than I did."

"You can't miss opportunities like this, they don't come around often," Mr Kite told NITV News.

"I'm 100 percent proud of him.

"To make the side is pretty special - it's not easy making these sorts of squads."

For Taj, the week in Brisbane has solidified his dream to play for Australia.

"I'd like to play professionally but I'll have to work hard," Taj said.

"It's fun and you get to meet new people, show your skills and put in the hard work."

NITV's Sunday broadcast of the Adelaide A-Grade Softball Competition resumes in November.