PTP Hero of the Week - Julie Jones
03/10/2020 3 Minute Read

PTP Hero of the Week - Julie Jones

Julie Jones has lost count of how many times she has completed the trip from home in Bendigo to Essendon Baseball Club and back again in the past 20-plus years.

The club’s long-time secretary has been a prominent figure in Victorian baseball not only at the Bombers but in Bendigo and beyond, helping run and grow the Winter Championships over more than a decade.

For her contribution to the sport Julie – an Essendon, Falcons and Baseball Victoria Life Member and Bendigo Baseball Association Hall of Fame inductee – has been recognised as the third PTP Hero of the Week.

Leading fitness and training equipment provider PTP will reward the Essendon Baseball Club with a $50 voucher in recognition of her being named Hero of the Week.

So Julie, you’ve racked up quite a few years as secretary at Essendon. What do you love most about it?

Yes I became secretary in the 1999/2000 season so I’m up to 21 years now. The different people that you meet in baseball all share the same passion and want to be involved and love the game. That’s one of my main reasons. I’ve got family, of course, playing baseball. My sons and my daughter played and now my grandsons are playing baseball, so it’s a family affair too.

You didn’t start out at Essendon but linked up with the club when your kids started playing there. What was your link before?

That’s right, we live in Bendigo which is about 130-135kms away from the Essendon baseball ground. So we do a lot of travelling. My daughter started first playing in Bendigo when she was about 10 I think just on the off chance a nephew’s team was short and they asked her to play and we just graduated from there. Baseball has been part of my family and my husband’s family for a long, long time though. This is going to show my age, but my dad played in Bendigo in the first league in Bendigo and that was in 1935. My husband’s father played in the 50s, my brothers played, my husband and his brother played. So we had a little time away but then when my daughter started in Bendigo and my boys started we knew some people also from Bendigo who had played at Essendon so when it was time to look at the boys taking their baseball further we knew which club would be the best family-orientated club around … and that was Essendon.

I won’t work backwards and do the maths on the age, but I will say that speaks volumes about the club’s culture you were attracted to them way back when.

Yeah, and it certainly hasn’t changed ever since the boys have been there and they started there about 1997.

And tell me about when the family got back into baseball in Bendigo.

My daughter and both my sons started there, and I’m still involved in Bendigo. I do a bit of work for my family club, which is Falcons Baseball Club, and also the Bendigo Baseball Association.

I also hear you’ve been involved heavily in the Winter Championships.

I have, for more years than I can count. That was mainly because my eldest son was in a rep team we went away to championships, then kept going as they went through and I got involved helping as I do.

Bendigo to Essendon is a bit of a trek, how long does that take?

When we first started it was a little over two-and-a-quarter hours but it was a lot different because their wasn’t the dual highway. It’s gone to around about an hour and 35 minutes to hour and 40.

And about how many round trips a year you think?

I’ve never put it down but on average it’s twice a week minimum and in winter probably just once a week. So over those years it’s countless days. I know every single pot hole in the road.

And you said about it being a family affair, are the grandchildren playing yet?

Yep, one of the older ones who is 16 is playing seniors and the younger ones in under-12 or 13s. So three playing at the moment, two coming along maybe and a little girl to chuck in the mix as well. My daughter is now the junior secretary of the club.

That’s fantastic. It’s a solid contribution and sounds like the family legacy for a while yet.

Volunteering is an extraordinary thing to do … you give a lot but you get a lot back from it.

Has your club got a hero like Julie?

Each week a member of the baseball community will featured on as we tell the stories of the true heroes of the Australian baseball family.

Nominate a hero from your club here and if chosen our great friends at PTP will reward your club.