TEN junior Wagga softballers have overcome arduous travel schedules and even bushfire smoke to win selection in representative teams to compete in various cities across Australia this month.
Turvey Park's Charli Hall will play for ACT in the under-16 Esther Deason Shield national championships at Waverley, while Todd Maiden (ACT) and Saints' Jayden McDonald (NSW) will compete in the boys' Arthur Allsopp Shield.
Hall and Maiden travel to Canberra twice a week for training sessions, while Hall ventures to Sydney each weekend.
Normally a catcher Hall, 15, will play plenty of outfield and third base for ACT and is out to prove a point after missing NSW selection.
"I did miss the NSW team but I was lucky enough to be picked up by ACT and I've been going over there twice a week to train with the girls," Hall said.
"It will be interesting to go up against NSW and it will be good to play against them.
"There is an Australian team picked for a friendship series next year, it would be good to make that."
Four Wagga girls - Isabella Cooper, Madaide Gale, Alex Maiden and Taya Richards - will turn out for NSW Country in the under-14 girls regional softball championships in Perth, while Austin Gooden, Crawford Wadley and Braith Warren will represent NSW Country at the under-14 boys regional championships in Canberra.
"Having ten Wagga players representing across the country is a massive achievement," Wagga Softball Association executive member Chris Hall said.
"Country kids have to fight harder for their positions in state teams and the commitment these kids have shown is outstanding.
"Travelling backwards and forwards twice a week is a big effort, but the kids want to do it and they know what's required before they try out for these teams.
"With the smoke over the last few weeks, there's been times where we've been at Yass on the way to Canberra and training's been cancelled."
The under-16 nationals and under-14 girls regional championships begin on January 4, with the under-14 boys regional championships to start on January 12.