My name is Sara Avanzi and I am a softball player who is also in the Italian National Team. I’ve started to play softball when I was 7, because my parents used to take me at the field every day. They both used to play baseball and they both used to be catchers. I grew up in my home town’s team and then, when I turned 14 years old, a very talented coach from another city contacted me to play for his team, which was in the higher level. I was still going to the high school, so I remember all the sacrifices my parents made for me, because they used to drive me at practice 3 times a week. (and the city was an hour and half away from our city, Rovigo). That experience was helpful because it made me become a better player and it made me realize that in order to become a very good player, sacrifices need to be made.
When I was 18 I started to play in the professional league for the team Forli (I’ve stayed there 4 years) and then I went to La Loggia, where I won lots of things: 2 Italian championships and the European women cup. In the meantime I decided to get a degree so I got a master degree in 2016. This year I decided to do new experiences so I have changed team and I am now a player of Thunders Castelfranco Team. I practice 5 teams a week, 3 times with the team and I go to the gym twice a week. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices in my life to play softball but I’m very happy and satisfied about the things I’ve achieved.
I’m lucky because my family always support me even if I don’t live with them. I live in Castelfranco and I share the apartment with our foreign pitcher. I also have a job as sales accountant in a business company and I’m always busy during the day.
Softball is my life and fortunately I’m able to practice almost every day because in Italy practices are late, around 8 pm. In Italy softball is not the main sport, that is why the majority of people work during the day.
Softball in Italy has been struggling because we don’t have a lot of sponsors and there are not lots of money. Especially in the national team, we don’t get to practice together during the year. Probably (if you are lucky) you can meet up twice a year. I am positive for the next Europeans. I hope we will have a good result. Anyways, it’s a great sport and I am glad I get to play it and I get money for that.
I wish there would be more cooperation between countries so there would be a quicker development of this amazing sport.