Woodlands Wolves Softball Club in need of new home after rapid rise

Ashlee (11), Brandon Hale (12) and Gary Hale with Ryan and Jasmine Stewart (13). Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Ashlee (11), Brandon Hale (12) and Gary Hale with Ryan and Jasmine Stewart (13). Picture: Andrew Ritchie

The Woodlands Wolves Softball Club created a bond and united a neighbourhood when underdogs won the grand final last year.

“It is a bit of a brotherhood now, people in the community see us in the gear everywhere and they say ‘oh it’s the wolves’,” club President and founder Gary Hale said .

“We have become a known entity in the community and a trusted club.

“The first games were a bit ugly to say the least, we really didn’t know what we were doing, we didn’t even have pitchers, bats, gear or anything.”

In 2015, a group of Woodlands and Wembley Downs dads formed the community team, which entered the lowest division.

This year, the Wolves had moved up two grades after winning two grand finals and recently outgrew their home ground at Birralee Reserve.

The Wolves are now on the hunt for a training ground with adequate lighting and storage facilities.

Hale said because schools in the area were rapidly expanding, oval space was “disappearing” but the club planned to work with the City of Stirling.

“The biggest challenge is access to grounds, as you don’t want to be travelling outside of your community to have a community club,” he said.

“We have to work with the council on storage and light quality; we’ve got nowhere to put all the equipment.

“It is clear to us that (Australian rules football) often seems to get precedence and we’re late to the party.”

Hale said the club would welcome its first two children’s teams this year and had grown from only 15 players in the first year to 53 registered players.

“The side effect of all this we didn’t plan for is the health of the dads, just to have a social environment, to have some down time, it’s been great because there is a real family friendly environment.”

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