Bundaberg Rum local sports legends winner, softball coach Merv Downing and Joanne Beach. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
Bundaberg Rum local sports legends winner, softball coach Merv Downing and Joanne Beach. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven

Swervin Mervin is a legend!

HARD-WORKING softball junior coach Merv Downing is a Bundaberg Rum Local Sports Legend winner.

His involvement in softball started many years ago when his high school sportsmaster wanted a young Downing to play cricket.

"I didn't want to play cricket and so was told by the sportsmaster to play softball with the girls team," Merv said of the "penalty" he recieved.

"That was back in 1972 and then I started coaching my first women's side here in 1975."

The men formed a competition in 1982 and Downing also played in QLD sides in 1983 and 1984.

"There are no regrets in not playing cricket," Merv, who is also a Mt Larcom cattle farmer and Ambrose school groundsman, said.

Merv also coaches Souths senior team.

VIDEO: Listen to Merv and Joanne have a chat

Gladstone Softball Association publicity officer Joanne Beach nominated Downing because of his attention toward developing juniors coming through the ranks.

"I guess for me it's that Merv's always on hand with the younger kids and teaching them the techniques," she said.

"It's all about seeing their potential.

Joanne plays in the local competition and began her chosen sport in the late 1980s in her home town of Brisbane.

"I grerw up playing it through the ranks and returned to playing softball two years ago," she said.

She is the mum of Nate and Cohen who both play the game as well.

Both Downing and Beach have won a a pre-paid $100 Visa card and the pair have been chosen by sports journalist Nick Kossatch and sports identity Jamie Tattersall.



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