First two seasons show wide range of activity at Farnham Park

Fri 10 Oct 2014

BSUK's Farnham Park Baseball and Softball Complex opened in June 2013, and since then thousands of participants, dozens of events and a wide range of different slowpitch, fastpitch and baseball activities have taken place there.

Events have included national championships in both sports, university softball championships, county and district schools competitions, local league softball play, National Baseball League games, Play Ball! youth baseball, Little League Baseball Qualifiers, national team practices and a Beep Ball tournament for the blind and visually impaired.

In terms of numbers, BSUK reckons that around 400 secondary school children, 100 primary school pupils and several hundred university or college students have accessed the site, along with 400 new adult slowpitch players, 4000 players from the existing baseball and softball communities, around 100 national team players using the park for practice sessions – and 20 Beep Ball participants.
National University Softball Championship Farnham Park

Enjoyment

Among the different groups that have used Farnham Park, the reactions have been almost entirely favourable.

Hannah Jeremy, the Sports Project Activator at Bucks New University, said: “The National University Softball Championships are a great opportunity for students to put what they learned into practice in a competitive environment, and it was fantastic that the tournament could take place at the new facility at Farnham Park.”

Duncan Fawcett, coach of the teams from Chalfonts Community College, said: “It was great for our students to receive high-quality coaching at the same time as playing at a wonderful venue.”

These comments echo the responses from BBF and BSF teams that have played at Farnham Park over the past two years, including the long-time player who said: “The sport has finally grown up!”

There seems to be little question that having dedicated and properly-maintained fields to play on has given baseball and softball a presence and a home.
UK Little League Baseball Farnham Park

The future

Starting this autumn, and for the first time, Farnham Park has a resident club on site – the Farnham Park Softball and Baseball Club, formerly the Chalfont Phoenix Softball Club from the local Windsor and Maidenhead Slowpitch League.  The new club, working closely with BSUK, will become a development hub over time for baseball and fastpitch softball as well as slowpitch.

Club President Neil Turner said: “Farnham Park is a fantastic facility and we look forward to being part of a process that puts it and the club right at the centre of a local ball-playing community.”

With the help of the new resident club, development activities will be stepped up at Farnham Park next year.  Many of the development events that have already been running at the site will continue in 2015, but a new slowpitch league for teams from the Slough Trading Estate will begin play next year, and youth programming will be stepped up, with an emphasis on layers 14 years and up.  Hopefully, this will include a new girls' fastpitch league.
 

Summary

A full list of events and activities at Farnham Park over the last two playing seasons have included:

SEGRO Softball Farnham ParkEvents

  • School Games at county and district level.
  • Bucks Young Carers baseball and softball events.
  • Two National Universities Softball Championships.
  • SEGRO corporate softball event – with a league to follow.
  • South Bucks District Council taster event.
  • Beep Ball introductory event – with a league to follow.
     

Development Programmes

  • Farnham Park School Softball Series.
  • Play Ball! youth baseball programmes.
  • Windsor & Maidenhead League Development Nights.
  • Beep Ball club formation for blind and visually impaired players.
  • Academy Baseball and Academy Softball sessions.
  • High Performance Academy trials and sessions.
     

GB Fastpitch Softball Farnham ParkOutreach Activity

  • Primary and secondary schools.
  • Play Ball! Introductory sessions.
     

Federation Events

  • Windsor and Maidenhead League games.
  • Great Britain Fastpitch Softball League play.
  • National Baseball League games.
  • Softball National Championships.
  • Baseball Senior and Youth National Championships.
  • Little League Qualifiers.
  • GB Baseball All-Star Series.
  • Senior and youth national softball team practice sessions.

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