2017 President's Report

Reminder, the 2018 AGM will be held this evening at 6:15pm, Monday 5th February in the Mezzanine Room at the Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre.

2017 was stellar for Sydney University Baseball, as the club embarked on a strategy to maintain activity in each calendar month, provide more opportunities for its members, and deliver success throughout the year.

Sydney University successfully defended their 3rd Grade title in the Sydney Winter Baseball League, defeating Petersham 11-8 in the Grand Final, for back-to-back championships and their fourth title in the last six years.

2nd Grade were genuine contenders and finished third after an inspiring playoff campaign where they lost an extra-innings heartbreaker in the preliminary final to the eventual premiers.

1st Grade fielded a young line-up, brimming with potential, and were competitive throughout the season despite not qualifying for the playoffs. The foundations were clearly built to fulfil Head Coach Mitch Liddle's plan of all three grades in the 2018 finals, and to win the Club Championship in 2019.

Sydney University won the Silver Medal in the Club Pool of the Hong Kong International Baseball Open 2017; contested by teams from Hong Kong, China, Philippines, Singapore and Russia. This occasion also marked two milestones: the club's first ever appearance on foreign soil; and the first team from Australia to compete in the tournament.

The Students used alchemy to transmute an unlikely squad of players into Bronze Medal winners at the 2017 Australian University Games. With experience ranging from First Grade, to first-year undergrads, to literal first-timers playing baseball, the team overcame injuries and two hospital visits to produce an amazing result.

Andrew Franklin received the honour of a Gold for his 12-year service to Sydney Uni Baseball. Since joining as an undergraduate in 2006, he has distinguished himself as Treasurer, Secretary and on the Executive Committee. A four-time 3rd Grade Premiership player and veteran of six inter-varsity tournaments, Andrew is a worthy recipient due to his tenacity and dedication to the club.

Thanks to the generosity of our members and alumni, the David Hynes Scholarship and Ron & Jennie Finlay Scholarship were established in 2017. These two new named scholarships were created to help secure the future of SUBC, and also honour great members from our club's past.

Socially, the club was vigorous in 2017. The annual Ladies Day raised over $1,000 for The Freedom Partnership; the largest fundraising effort in the event’s history. Two new events were also added to the calendar: Alumni Day which saw many past players/coaches/members in attendance, representing decades: 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's; and Golf Day, which provided a great bonding opportunity for the current squad; with no one any threat of joining the PGA Tour.

Congratulations to Alex Cobb and Anthony Palmer for completing their undergraduate degrees, and their respective tenures as Secretary and Treasurer. Combining full-time study with volunteering is commendable, and the club wishes to thank them both for their invaluable contributions over the past three years.

Wade Shipard