Australia v Japan All-Stars Hit Home Run For Bendigo

20 September 2019

Australia’s best baseball stars will take on the might of Japan when Strathfieldsaye Baseball Ground hosts the 2019 Japan All-Stars v Australia Women’s Bendigo Challenge from 2-6 October.

The series enters its second year and is locked in for Bendigo until 2021 thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Significant Sporting Events Program.

On the back of the Intermediate League Championships in Mildura and establishment of the Australian Baseball League’s newest team Geelong-Korea, the Government is proud to secure another home run for regional Victoria.

The seven-game Bendigo Challenge sees an All-Stars outfit featuring national team members from world No.1 Japan take on an Australian Emeralds side led by eight-time World Cup star Shae Lillywhite and pitcher Sinead Flanigan.

With Japan All-Stars taking out last year’s series, the world No.6 Emeralds will be out to settle the score in front of an expected crowd of more than 1,000 people. The series will serve as an important step in the Emeralds’ preparations for the 2020 Women’s Baseball World Cup.

The Bendigo Challenge is one of several events secured by the Significant Sporting Events Program for the Bendigo region, including the NBL Blitz, Australian Veterans Table Tennis Championships, the upcoming Bendigo International Women's Pro Tour tennis tournament and 2019 Rugby Goldfields 7s.

More than 650 events have been funded through the $17.7 million Significant Sporting Events Program and more than half of those events were held in regional Victoria, boosting local jobs and economies.

The events bring competitors, officials and supporters to regional communities, stimulate the local economy and inspire more people to stay active and healthy through sport.

Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula

“It’s fantastic that we can attract events like this to Bendigo and other regional centres ­– it sets Victoria apart and is a key reason that we are the nation’s premier sporting state.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

“We’re proud to be able to bring the best of women’s baseball to Bendigo for a second year. It’s great for local sports fans and gives us the chance to showcase our wonderful region to visitors from across Australia.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

“We can boast a terrific calendar of sporting and cultural events across the greater Bendigo region – that helps keep our hotels, cafes and restaurants buzzing and creates jobs for local people.”

Quote attributable to Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale

“Last year’s series between the Emeralds and Japan was a tremendous success and the 2019 Bendigo Challenge shapes as another cracker as the Emeralds enter a new era ahead of the next World Cup.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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