BSUK Club Spotlight: The Towcester Tigers Softball Club

Wed 6 Dec 2017

By Luke Stott

In the latest BaseballSoftballUK Club Spotlight, The Towcester Tigers tell us about their beginnings, their rapid improvement in results, and their plan to grow with the town around them.

Allegedly, they have both the tallest and shortest players in England on their roster, but that’s not the only extraordinary thing about the Towcester Tigers.

Having grown from a youth development programme, the Towcester Tigers Softball Club was founded in 2015 and operates as part of the Towcestrians Sports Club in Towcester, Northamptonshire.

During the summer months, the Tigers can be found practising at the Sports Club in preparation for their games as a member of the Milton Keynes Softball League.  In the winter months, when that league goes indoors, the Tigers base themselves in a sports hall at Campion School in Bugbrooke, a village near Towcester.

With training scheduled all year round for a club where over 40% of members are juniors, the Tiger’s recent results have been trending upwards.  Fourth place in the 2016 MK Summer League became third place this year, and a third-place finish in the 2016-17 Indoor League will hopefully be surpassed this time, as the Tigers currently have an undefeated record.


Youth movement

The Tigers also host their own tournament, which this year had five teams participating.  With the tournament designed to feature the younger generation of players, the event provides the perfect opportunity for new players to play some of their first games in a safe and supportive environment.

With the club’s youngest member being just seven years old, and with so much emphasis on the next generation, ensuring that the potential of so many young players is realised is the collective responsibility of a plethora of dedicated volunteers, including British Softball Hall of Fame members Jocelyn Thompson and her daughter Laura and Laura’s brother Edgar, as well as Dave Williams, Jonathan Mandle and Fliss and Hannah West.

Away from the playing field, Liz Airlie, as Treasurer, keeps a close eye on the accounts, while Colleen and Francis Reynolds oversee important administration and procurement work.


Help from BSUK

Throughout its short history, the club has enjoyed a close relationship with BaseballSoftballUK, and that relationship is now even stronger thanks to the efforts of Fastpitch Development Manager Jo Malisani, who often attends meetings with the Towcestrian Sports Club Committee to reinforce the strong connection that BaseballSoftballUK has with Tigers.   Jo has also brought Academy Softball sessions to local venues and has held a weekend camp and training days for the GB Under-16 Girls’ National Team at the Towcestrians Sports Club.


Looking forward

Being such a new club can often come with a laundry list of things that need attention, from equipment, uniforms, coaching and recruitment to what competitions you’ll enter going forward.  The Tigers are optimistic about what they might achieve in the future, and work has already begun to turn those ambitions into reality.

Dave Williams said: “With the expansion of our hometown of Towcester, the Towcestrians Sports Club has acquired more land, and our section will be provided with our own softball field.

“We also hope to double our adult playing members, with enough men and women to form two single-sex fastpitch teams as well as still being able to field two mixed slowpitch teams.”

“We have a great passion to work in our surrounding schools,” Dave added, “and build up a vibrant youth section.  We know this will not be easy because the turnover of young people as they progress through their schooling and university is quite high, but we hope that we have laid positive foundations that will encourage them to carry on their interest in the great game of softball.”

For further information please check the club’s Facebook page.  

 

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