BSUK staff and volunteers push our sports at SportExpo
Wed 24 Oct 2012
BaseballSoftballUK staff and volunteers combined to spread enthusiasm for baseball and softball among a wider community on the weekend of 20-21 October with a strong presence at the national SportExpo event held in Manchester.
SportExpo played host to a fantastic two days of sporting entertainment at Event City, next to the Trafford Centre in South Manchester. The weekend showcased more than seven sports and a multitude of martial arts events – as well as baseball and softball.
BSUK staff set up an area approximately 10 meters square, with a miniature field, two batting stations, a throwing area, a video booth and plenty of promotional material for guests to peruse and take away.
The event was well attended, with more than 6,000 people passing the BSUK stand over the weekend and many having a go at trying the sport's main features or asking for information.
The stand was well looked after by John Eaton from the Manchester Baseball Club, Natasha Miotk, Emma Carruthers, Andy Grose and Peter Jones from the Manchester Softball League and Georgiana Craciun from the BSUK Youth Panel.
Luis Arrevillagas, BSUK's Regional Development Manager for the North West, said: “It was an unusual place to see baseball and softball promoted, but many people were intrigued to try it and have a go and family and friends as well as spectators from the main event also got involved. We had people from all over the UK asking for information about their local opportunities, from the Wirral to Reading and from individuals to Local Authority staff, and we even talked sponsorship with a major brand.
“I had my reservations regarding this event,” Luis added, “but now that we experienced it, it shows how versatile our sports are and why we should not be shy to promote them to all areas of society.”
BSUK Youth Panel member Georgiana Craciun, who volunteered at the stand over the weekend, said: “The weekend at SportExpo is definitely something not to miss. I got involved for the two days and I had the best time possible. Even though I thought that I would probably just hand out flyers and try to convince people to play, it was more than that. We had parents, students and most important loads of kids coming and willing to try. Many of them would have had no idea what baseball or softball is, but once they started playing they wouldn’t leave the pitch. Judging from people's reactions, we do have the chance to bring baseball and softball back to the Olympics.
“My conclusion is that it doesn’t matter your age, sex, occupation, passion, or body shape,” Georgiana said. “If a good mood and fun and release is what you are looking for, then the baseball and softball family is the place to be.”