White Sox player up for local award
May 16, 2019
Pro softballer Lara Andrews says she is “honoured” to be a finalist for Sportswoman of the Year in the 2019 Hutt Valley Sports Awards.
Andrews, who has played for the women’s Hutt Valley National Fastpitch Championship team since she was 15, said her success went hand-in-hand with that of the team. “You’re never eligible for something like this unless your team is also really successful.”
Andrews was “really proud” of her Hutt Valley women’s team, who won this year’s championships against Auckland in February. “It’s amazing to be recognised at the local level as well.” This was the second time she had been a finalist in the awards.
Andrews was born and educated in Petone, earning a scholarship to study in the United States of America at 19 years old and gaining her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Development and Family Science in parallel to her sports career.
She said sports and academia complemented each other. “Sports for me is a way of life. It’s how I learn, grow, and challenge myself, as well as in my studies.”
She is soon to complete a PhD in parental involvement in sports and children’s well-being from the University of Delaware.
Andrews was aiming for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the New Zealand White Sox national women’s softball team.
“I’ll have one good crack at the Olympic qualifier in China in September. I turn 30 this year so if I’m ever going to do it, this is the year.”
Championship coach Joe Ferriso said Andrews’s leadership and commitment to the team were “second to none.” “The way she developed the team culture was fabulous.
“She is one of the best New Zealand softball players we’ve ever seen. And it’s also what she does off the sports field, the work she does with mentoring kids and passing on good values.”
Ferriso said the Olympic goal was a “fantastic opportunity” for the White Sox. “Being in the qualifier alone means they have every opportunity to do something really special. They are up against some tough teams, but I certainly wish them all the best.”