YOUNG TALENT: Rising softball star Joanna Garoni is one of 12 nominees for this year’s Norske Skog Young Achiever Award for her dedication to the sport. Pictures: MARK JESSER
Joanna Garoni’s introduction to softball came from watching her older brothers compete, but the talented 16-year-old is now blazing her own trail.
Garoni has been playing state softball since she was 11-years-old with the sport taking her all around the country, but the talented youngster has her sights set on going international.
“In the next couple of years I’m planning to go over to college in America to play,” Garoni said.
“My end goal would be the Olympics.”
Garoni has once again been selected to represent Victoria at a national competition in Sydney this month and is hoping to catch the eye of selectors for an Australian team.
While having previously played club softball for Wodonga, Garoni now competes regularly in Melbourne in a Waverley competition, playing two open games a week.
Garoni’s mum Catherine has spent plenty of time in the car going up and down the highway for training and games, while the whole Garoni family attends tournaments to cheer her on.
“She’s a big help at home, so she’s aware that you give as good as you get,” Catherine said.
“It’s been six years and she’s still loving it.”
There’s plenty of friendly competition in the Garoni household when it comes to softball, especially between Joanna and her twin brother Max, with older brothers Steven and Adam also playing the sport.
While there’s been numerous games contested in the backyard over the years, the humble sister said they all have different strengths on the field.
“We all play different positions,” Garoni said.
The year-11 student predominantly plays as her team’s pitcher and first base and said she tries to squeeze her homework in whenever she can during her busy schedule in softball season.
“For the last week (before nationals) I’ve been training Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and during the rest of the year it’s about the same,” Garoni said.
“I do extra stuff at home just every other day.”
Garoni is one of 12 nominees for the 2020 Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year award.
The talented teenager said it would be an honour to be recognised as this year’s recipient of the award.
“It’d just show how much I’ve actually put into the sport and how I’ve been watched by other people,” Garoni said.
While softball is Garoni’s main passion, she also likes to hit the netball court in a social capacity.
The winner of the Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year Award will be announced at Albury’s Commercial Club on February 20.
Source – The Border Mail, 17.01.2020