The Bellarine Bears have appointed Lewis Weldon as senior coach for the Wallington based baseball club in 2019.
Weldon is excited at the show of faith that his new club has given him and is keen for the challenge of taking on his first senior coaching role in baseball.
Although Weldon’s coaching experience is mainly from his strong softball background he did get a taste for coaching baseball in 2018 when coaching Geelong’s senior carnival team to runners up in the Victorian baseball state championships.
In terms of coaching Weldon has an established history of success including:
– Assistant coach for 2009 U16 boys Vic state team (national champions)
– Coach of 2011 U19s Vic State team (national champions)
– Coach of 2012 U19s (runners up national championships)
Weldon started his baseball and softball career in the Albury area but very quickly made an impression at state and national level having been selected for the Australian Steelers National Softball men’s side at 18 years old.
He went on to win rookie of the year for Open Men’s Nationals and has performed consistently at the national level including a Most Valuable Player Award in 2016.
Weldon’s first year with the Bears was interrupted for a brief period when he returned to join the national softball side and became a silver medallist when Australia came runners up in the world championships in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.
A significant story of success in the Geelong Baseball Association’s winter competition last year was the Bears commitment to fielding a women’s team. As a demonstration of their values of ‘Innovation, Inclusion and Success’ the Bellarine club successfully fielded an all women side as their C Grade side throughout the winter 2018 season.
While the win-loss ratio was one-sided the Bears saw this achievement as a significant step in demonstrating an inclusive and family friendly environment for their club.
The ‘Lady Bears’ were excited to learn that their new head coach was the hitting coach for Victorian women’s softball team in 2015 and 2016.
2018 was a stellar year for the club with its first A Reserve Grand Final in its 40 year history.
Weldon has been at the Bears for two years and says that he’s “most impressed with the quality of the people and culture of the club in terms of being family orientated and welcoming.”
In terms of areas of improvement his first focus will be in regards to player development and to develop a consistent standard of baseball throughout the entire club from the junior program through to the A Grade.
A man of few words, Lewis states his aspirations for the club are simply “to win the first A Grade flag for nearly 25 years” and wants potential new players to know that “we’re the most welcoming and inclusive club in the Geelong region and we’d welcome some new players to come down and get amongst it.”
The Bears welcome new players of all skills abilities and backgrounds to come and join them for junior program come and try days which will be held on the weekend of the 16 and 17 March in Leopold and Ocean Grove.
Senior players (men and women) are welcome to come down to pre-season training and join in. See facebook.com/bellarine.bears for details and enquiries.