BSUK introduces baseball at Disability Sports Coach Festival

Fri 24 Aug 2018


On Friday 27 July, BaseballSoftballUK supported a Summer Club Games Festival run by the organisation Disability Sports Coach (DSC) at the Westway Sports Centre in London to develop and increase disabled participation in baseball.

This was DSC’s flagship event of the year, open to all DSC community clubs as well as other disability organisations and charities.  BSUK provided a come-and-try baseball area for all disability participants in attendance, a 'taster zone' run by BSUK coaches encouraging people to have a go at throwing, catching and hitting off a tee.

Attendance at the Summer Festival followed BSUK's presence as a showcase sport and competition at DSC's Spring Club Games Festival in April.

Long-term plan

Over the past 12 months, BaseballSoftballUK has worked with DSC to create a plan for establishing baseball within DSC's community clubs.  Introducing the sport at the two festival events was the first step, and this will be followed by reciprocal training: BSUK coaches and staff will take an online Disability Awareness course and DSC coaches will undertake BSUK's Activator course that will prepare them to deliver safe, fun and inclusive baseball sessions in DSC clubs.

The aim is for eight London borough community clubs to form a team (with jerseys!) and take part in a series of baseball club derby games this autumn, culminating in an outdoor finals event at one of London's baseball clubs next June, tying in with the build-up to the MLB 'London Series' between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at the London Stadium.

Reaction

Lauren Mawdsley, DSC Club Development Officer, has been delighted with the work done so far to add baseball to the sports on offer at DSC community clubs.

“Within the DSC Community Club programme,” Lauren said, “we hope to provide as many sporting opportunities within and outside of the programme as possible.  We were keen to work with BaseballSoftballUK to introduce our members, coaches and volunteers to a sport that’s not been highlighted in the clubs before and to signpost our members to further opportunities in the sport.  BSUK has supported our recent Spring Club Games and Summer Festival in delivering and raising awareness of baseball/softball, which was an instant hit.

“We hope to upskill our coaches and volunteers in delivering baseball/softball,” Lauren added, “and continue working with BaseballSoftballUK so the sport can become a long-term feature in the community club programme.”

Patrick Knock, BSUK’s South East Development Manager, said: “BSUK will continue to support its coaches and staff through training to ensure baseball and softball is an accessible and inclusive sport for all participants.  Engaging hard-to-reach groups into our sports is something we are committed to and this partnership work with DSC is an example of this.”

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