The West Coast Gold and Blue Rays are reflecting on an amazing week at the 2023 Barclay Cup, with girls aged 13-16 from across the country coming together for an action-packed tournament.
Baseball WA and Carine Cats Baseball Club were thrilled with the turnout for the second annual Barclay Cup, hosted at Carine Regional Open Space from 1-7 October. The junior girls tournament was made possible through support from the City of Stirling and Mainline Demolition.
The event was named in honour of talented West Australian sportswoman Jacinda Barclay, who passed away in 2020. Her love of the game and infectious team spirit were celebrated throughout the week, inspiring the next generation of female baseballers.
Andy Cooke, Head Coach of the West Coast Blue Rays, says the girls made the most of the tournament and enjoyed playing alongside teams from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria.
"Being at home in WA for the Barclay Cup was special this year for the girls, having not only their families to watch them play but also to be around Jacinda's family and see how proud they were of what had come from their loss," Cooke said.
"Catching up with the girls they had met at last year's tournament and making new friends is a big part of the Barclay Cup as it is for returning coaches and to see new coaches experience the Barclay spirit in full swing."
With a wide variety of skills and talent, the girls had great opportunities to improve their abilities, with older girls leading the way for first-time participants.
"Our girls found a new level of focus and gameplay as the week progressed, but what makes this tournament different is the underlying reason we are all there and that is to be part of a celebration and to enjoy the sportsmanship. camaraderie, and goodwill that’s become the Barclay Cup," Cooke added.
The coaching staff hopes to see the younger girls return for the 2024 Barclay Cup and looks forward to their exciting baseball futures.
"Going back to club ball this season and talking about the experience they had will help grow and bring support to women’s baseball Australia-wide and will again see an outstanding turnout of high spirited and talented young ladies attend what is becoming one of Australia’s premiere national tournaments," Cooke said.
After the Barclay Cup, Blue Rays player Shenaye Lett has her sights set on representing WA in the future.
"The best part of Barclay Cup was being able to see all my friends from across the country in a friendly competitive environment," Shenaye said. "I am most proud of having the opportunity to play in Jacinda’s honour. Not only learning a lot about baseball but learning the Barclay way of life, both on the diamond but also off the diamond. Seeing Jacinda’s friends from all over Australia come together and coach in her honour makes me want to strive to coach a WA team at a future Barclay Cup."
Thalia Fink of the Gold Rays shares the sentiment, having enjoyed meeting new people and learning from fellow baseballers.
"The best part of Barclay Cup for me was being able to work with a team, sharing memories and experiences with them," Thalia said. "I am proud of how I developed through the week and learnt new strategies. It was also good seeing all the teams across Australia come together and have good sportsmanship and friendships. My future goals are to continue playing baseball in a club and try out for more tournaments like this one."
Congrats to all the West Coast Rays on their fantastic efforts at the 2023 Barclay Cup. Catch up on photos and videos HERE.