PHOTOS: Gladstone pitcher is to get international experience
SOFTBALL: Gladstone softball prodigy Kirsty Lester's efforts at the Emerging Talent Camp back in May have paid dividends.
The teenage pitcher was the only player selected from outside the Brisbane Region to take part in the Softball Queensland Kochi City Tour 2019.
The Japanese tour starts tomorrow and continues through to September 2.
"I'm really looking forward to meeting the Japanese softball players and seeing how they play the game," Kirsty said.
"I will be looking for similarities or differences and ways to improve my game and also training, playing, travelling with my team, some of whom I have played softball with previously.
"I am excited to experience some Japanese culture as well on our days off."
Kirsty will be a part of a 14-strong team under the guidance of head coach Fabian Barlow.
The team will play 12 games against Japanese high school teams - Hiroshima Commercial High School, Atago Junior High School, Yonago Shion High School, Kochi Marunouchi High School, Kochi Girls Club, Okayama Higashi Commercial High School, Ikeda High School, Saab Junior High School, Kochi Commercial High School, Tokushima Commercial High School, Takamatsu Commercial High School and Takamatsu East High School.
With women's softball to be introduced as an Olympic sport next year, Kirtsy said she was excited what the future held.
"This tour is a development team for young Queensland players," she said.
"We do get to meet and train with the Japanese national men's coach and pitcher.
"I hope to bring back heaps of ideas to share with my regional team when we go to State Under-16 U18 Championship in September and October which is really exciting."