We're excited to introduce you to a rising star in the world of softball - 10-year-old Joe Zhang. Not only is Joe an eager player for the Hibiscus Coast Softball Club and part of the Orange Shirt Umpire programme, but he's also a gifted student enrolled in Mindplus, a programme run by the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

Recently, Joe entered the Ministry of Education Awards for gifted learners and blew the judges away with his submission - a kids-friendly 'Softball Defense Situations Guide'. He developed the programme using Scratch, the world's largest free coding community for kids, and even provides a demo and defence guide that you can view here:

“I became an U11 pitcher last season. I found the games were a lot harder than T-ball. Most of the players are new to the pitching game, and we don't know what to do. The coaches tried to teach us the theory, but it’s not easy for some 9 and 10 year olds. I looked into YouTube, there are some baseball situations videos, but nothing for softball. I couldn't find anything useful” says Joe.

For his efforts, Joe was awarded a laptop and a term fee at MindPlus school. We have no doubt that his passion for softball and his commitment to helping others will lead him to great things.




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