BSUK launches pilot programme for North West primary school children

Tue 29 Sep 2015

BaseballSoftballUK's North West Regional Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas is exploring the possibility of setting up indoor baseball/softball leagues in the region for children at Key Stage 2 – Years 3 to 6 -- in primary school.
 

Breaking barriers

The programme will begin in October with indoor sessions in Trafford, Manchester.  Further sessions are planned for Stockport in November and Liverpool in January. 

The Trafford sessions will be run at the Powerleague Soccerdome next to the Trafford Centre on Saturday mornings at 10.00 am.  The Stockport sessions will be run at Reddish Vale High School in Stockport on Sundays at 3.00 pm.  A venue is being sought in Liverpool that will suit participants and coaches.

Luis Arrevillagas said: “The idea is to keep breaking barriers that we have identified as stopping people joining our sports.  I believe the weather plays a big part in this, and it’s not the participants who are afraid of getting wet or freezing in the Northern rain, as I am sure the children will play anywhere you let them play.  It’s the parents and carers of those children who may think twice about leaving the house to stand on a field when they see sleet coming down.  For someone to have the courage to go for a non-traditional game, you have to make it as easy and comfortable as possible, and that’s why we’re holding sessions indoors.”

The venues chosen for these sessions will be warm, with plenty of parking and an area that serves drinks.  Ideally, there will also be somewhere with tables and chairs, as many parents will bring siblings of the players and will want them to do some homework during that hour. 

“We know we have a great product,” Luis added, “and once they try it everyone loves it.  But we need to make sure they come in the first place.”
 

Formats

The indoor sessions are being marketed as “Baseball and Softball” sessions.  Baseball is a better-known sport to people who have seen it on TV and in films, but most schools in the country know more about softball, a game that teachers are comfortable offering to their students given the facilities and equipment they are likely to have.

This year, the initial aim of the sessions will be to introduce children to the basics of the sports, which are the same for baseball and softball.  The focus will be on children having fun and falling in love with the sports. 

The plan is then to run small clinics introducing baseball pitching, fastpitch pitching and slowpitch softball, as well as catching and batting for all three formats.
 

Marketing

Marketing will be the most important aspect of the project, as word needs to be spread as widely as possible.  

Methods used will include speaking at school assemblies and speaking to parents, as well as using social media, flyers in town centres etc.  

Meanwhile, funding is being sought for these sessions.  While there is not much mainstream funding available for this age group, Luis and North West Coach Linni Mitchell are continuing to look for sponsorship and local grants.   However, session costs will be covered by the participants, which will help to make them sustainable from the beginning.

Linni Mitchell said: “It is pretty obvious that we are getting to a point where more and more parents who play baseball and softball now have children who are showing an interest in the sports.  When I play my softball league games and tournaments, there are always so many children there, and many of them have their own glove and love having a swing between games.  Equally, baseball players are now bringing their children to games.  This has always been the case, but it seems that there are many more children now.”

Luis Arrevillagas said: “We will be happy to support a programme of this type in other areas if people are interested.  There is a lot of work to do and some private investment is needed at the beginning to get equipment, book venues etc.  But hopefully this will be recouped once the sessions are up and running.”

For more information, get in touch with Luis Arrevillagas on: LA@bsuk.com.

Back to news listing


Comments

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Related

Get in the Game

Sign-up with the BBF to PLAY BASEBALL

Sign-up with the BSF to PLAY SOFTBALL

Hot Corner Signup Form
In Your Corner - banner
Follow Us
Sponsors