LESSON LEARNED: Kirsty Lester and Taylah Williams go through a throwing exercise with Australian softball Olympian Tanya Harding and coach Merv Downing watching on.
LESSON LEARNED: Kirsty Lester and Taylah Williams go through a throwing exercise with Australian softball Olympian Tanya Harding and coach Merv Downing watching on. Nick Kossatch

Olympic softball medallist helps out our juniors

TRIPLE Olympic medallist Tanya Harding pitched down her softball wisdom in a two-day Tanya Harding Champions Softball Academy at the PCYC yesterday and Tuesday.

Harding said the clinic went through a range of the sport's facets and she hopes the skills taught will be used on and off the softball field.

"I came up to go through a range of things like the finer things and techniques in batting, pitching and fielding and just the fundamentals," Harding said.

"While I do this for softball, it goes hand-in-hand as far as the little things which they'll remember those things for years to come."

Harding added that promoting softball and sport in general to youngsters is paramount in them leading a healthy and productive life.

"Parental support is essential and that sport is great from a young age and it's better to get kids into sport rather than have them sitting home on their I-phones or on the computer playing games," Harding said.

"I know when I was much younger; it was all about sport for me."

She stressed that support from the home is beneficial and may lead to indirectly stopping the decrease in softball participation.

"Regional towns have the most sport and I think sport is great to bring young people up," Harding said.

Coach Merv Downing said the kids present yesterday all looked up to Harding.

"As far as softball is concerned, Harding has done everything in the game and she has just got a great demeanour with coaching," Downing said.

"It was a fun and relaxing atmosphere."

Harding claimed three Olympic bronze medals in 1996, 2000, 2008 and silver in 2004.

SOFTBALL ACADEMY

WHAT WAS IT: A clinic that explained all facets of the game to juniors

THE TEACHER: Tanya Harding - 4-time Olympian in 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2004

MEDALS: 3 bronze in 1996, 2000, 2008 and silver in 2004