Chloe Humphreys (Redlands U20) and Members of the Australian Women’s baseball squad took part in the ‘Diamonds in The Rough’ program to empower Indonesian girls through baseball. The program was on its third trip to Indonesia, where the squad members teach local schoolgirls baseball skills and develops their self-confidence through mentoring workshops.
Diplomacy through sport isn’t a new concept, but the Diamonds in the Rough program is the first to see an Australian Women’s National team deliver a program aimed at engaging and empowering schoolgirls from one of our most important international neighbours.
Funded by the Australian Government through the Asian Sports Partnerships small grants fund, the program has been shown to improve self-confidence in previous participants by 33% and aims to show girls that they can make choices for their future beyond what they may have previously been told.
Travelling with the program is Charlie King, founder of the No More campaign to reduce family violence. Charlie brings his strong message to program participants about the importance of linking up and speaking out about domestic violence.
The message is one that has been strongly backed by Baseball Australia, with the Australian Baseball League being the first national sports league to support the campaign.
In addition to the skills clinics and off-field workshops with the Indonesian girls, the Emeralds squad also engages the local community through exhibition games against the local men’s baseball teams. The squad is a combination of veteran Emeralds and those working to make their first open national team, and with three games played in Bali and two in Bandung, the team members also have the chance to refine and demonstrate their skills to Australian head coach Simone Wearne during the trip.
“We have had a great response to the Diamonds in the Rough program in 2017 so far,” Wearne said.
“With over 100 Indonesian girls participating in our workshops daily, it is fantastic to see the impact we can make on so many young lives. These local girls have a rare chance to build powerful and lasting relationships with positive Australian women and they comment often about how happy they are to be mentored by this group of strong and passionate women – one girl said our squad are like real-life super heroes.”