Chichester Falcons run successful primary school baseball programme

Sat 14 Jul 2018

The Chichester Falcons Club from the Solent Softball League has just completed a primary school baseball programme, culminating in a tournament held at Oaklands Park Softball Field, and to be followed by weekly club sessions starting on 22 July.

A team of six Falcons’ players visited 13 schools in Chichester and the surrounding area, delivering free-of-charge baseball and teeball taster sessions at each school.  Most of the schools had never encountered the game before, so it was a chance for children to get their hands on some real baseball gear for the first time. 

Two of the primary schools chose to start their own weekly baseball club following their sessions.  Senior Falcons player and teacher Mike Crispin has been heading up a team at Kingsham Primary School while David Morris has been coaching a new club at West Dean Primary School.
 

Tournament

The sessions went so well that the Falcons decided to run a six-team tournament for local primary schools in late June. 

Central, Parklands, Funtington, Jessie Younghusband, Kingsham and West Dean Schools duty entered and played out a fun day in the sunshine across two fields in Oaklands Park.  A round-robin sorted the teams into pairs for gold, silver and bronze finals, with Parklands running away with bronze, Kingsham sealing silver and West Dean taking gold. 

The sight of over 80 children on the field drew considerable attention from onlookers, who were treated to a fine display of hitting and fielding, as Falcons staff umpired and managed the games and teams, assisted by GB Under-13 Softball Head Coach Jodie Rushin. 

The winning team in each final was presented with baseball medals and male and female MVPs were given Falcons caps, while West Dean took away a trophy for their cabinet.


Potential

“The standard of the baseball and the enthusiasm of the players has shown that there is huge potential for youth baseball in Chichester,” said Falcons manager David Morris.  “We’ve made some important friends in the school sector while delivering this programme, and we’ve seen a lot of local children put on a baseball glove for the first time and become hooked. 

“This was a massive team effort on our part,” David added, “and I wholeheartedly salute Natasha Vickers, James Wheeler, Vicki Cathie, Olly Howley, Hettie McNeil and Jodie Rushin for giving up their time to make it happen.  We also thank our sponsors -- MEC Electrical, CRJ Lettings, The Bell Inn, Southern Co-op and Falcon Fabrics -- for helping us deliver the sessions and tournament to the schools.”


Club programme

With momentum building, a club baseball programme for boys and girls aged 7-11 will start in Chichester on 22 July. 

This will consist of eight Sunday sessions at Oaklands Park, where players will be coached in the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, catching and baserunning before playing games. 

Enrolment is via an online form on the Falcons website at www.chichesterfalcons.com.

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