Lismore pitching to be Little League’s home in Australia
FAR North Coast could be one of 20 teams to compete when Lismore hosts the Australian Little League Baseball Championships in June.
Lismore hosted the event for the first time last year, with the NSW Government in partnership with Lismore City Council having secured the event for the next five years at the Albert Park complex.
FNC did not take part in the competition last year with the winning Cronulla team going on to represent Australia at the Little League World Series in the United States.
The Little League World Series is broadcast globally on ESPN to a potential audience of 45 million people.
“Little League has massive participation rates around the world and this is a huge deal for us,” FNC Baseball representative Bill O’Sullivan said.
“The teams are community based so you could well see a team from the Far North Coast win an all-expenses-paid trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to play in the world series.
“ESPN has the rights to it and they televise to 139 countries, so what a marvellous thing that would be to get a local team there.
“Little League is the biggest industry in Williamsport and we have the opportunity to make Lismore the Little League home of Australia for good.”
Lismore will also host the next age up with the Senior League championships in May before Timberjacks and other carnivals are played throughout the year.
The Under-15 Oceania Championships between Australia, New Zealand and Guam were supposed to run this week at the complex but were recently cancelled.
Guam was struggling financially to get here with Australia gaining automatic qualification and New Zealand receiving a wildcard into the Baseball Confederation World Cup in Japan.
“It’s unfortunate that couldn’t run but there is still plenty of events on this year,” O’Sullivan said. “We’ll probably host the Queensland Under-23 Championships and maybe another one of their age divisions.
“It’s a great facility but it’s ageing a little and we need to keep the money coming in.”