High Performance Academy launches second season at Bisham Abbey

Wed 12 Nov 2014

BSUK’s High Performance Academy (HPA) launched its second winter programme on Sunday 2 November at the National Sports Centre in Bisham Abbey.  Parents and athletes from across Great Britain attended a number of sessions based around the theme of what it takes to become an elite athlete.

Morning sessions

The morning session started in the luxury surroundings of the Elizabethan Room with a formal introduction to the HPA coaches and staff.  This was followed by workshops for both athletes and parents on:

  • What does it mean to be an elite athlete?
  • Explaining the Strength and Conditioning programme to parents.
  • What does it mean to be the parent of an elite athlete?

Afternoon session

After lunch, athletes and parents were introduced to the new system for support and communication that will be used in the months ahead, including full-time support through  mentors and a distance learning system.

The day was rounded off with a presentation from the keynote speaker, Virginie Anneveld, the third base player from the Dutch National Women's Fastpitch Team, on what it takes to get to an elite level.  Virginie, who was involved with HPA sessions last spring, is a great example of where determination and desire can take you, and the questions from the floor  came thick and fast.

BSUK National Development Manager Will Lintern said, “Virginie did an outstanding job as both keynote speaker and special guest for the Launch Day.  This was a pretty special day for the entire talent programme.  It was great to have both the baseball and fastpitch softball athletes together in the room at the same time, and the coaches all did a fantastic job of creating a really positive learning environment.”

Practice sessions

HPA practice sessions are already under way, with athletes kickstarting both their regional workouts and distance learning programmes.   Fastpitch softball started on 3 November with a special one-off work out with Virginie Anneveld in Wembley but will now move to Desborough College in Maidenhead for sessions on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Baseball has grown to two HPA venues this year, with practices at The Ark Academy in Wembley on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Durrington High School in Worthing on Mondays and Thursdays.  Both groups will come together on Saturdays for a joint practice at Uxbridge College

Will Lintern said: “The 2014-15 HPA is off to a fantastic start and we can’t wait to see the results of many months of hard work come to fruition at the HPA Closing Event on 11-12 April 2015.  Hopefully, our athletes will take advantage of this tremendous opportunity and use it as tool to progress along the talent and performance pathways, enabling them to successfully represent Great Britain both this summer and in the future."

HPA selections

The following athletes aged 14-19 have been selected to be part of the HPA programme in 2014-15, and will either take part in HPA practice sessions or, if they do not live close enough to where sessions are held, through the distance learning programme.


Luke Armstrong (Cartmel Valley Baseball Club)
Elliot Berger (Barracudas Baseball Club, Zurich)
Connor Brown (Herts Baseball Club)
Dexter Bohn (London Mets Baseball Club)
Warwick Byrne (Herts Baseball Club)
Brodie Caress (Herts Baseball Club)
Jake Caress (Herts Baseball Club)
Angus Cowell (Brighton Baseball Club)
Jamie Dix (London Mets Baseball Club)
Jonathan Fretheim (Bracknell Blazers Baseball Club)
Jamie Gregory (Essex Arrows Baseball Club)
Andrew Lee (Bracknell Blazers Baseball Club)
Zak Longboy (Herts Baseball Club)
Fred Mosier (London Mets Baseball Club)
Harry O'Brien (Brighton Baseball Club)
Connor O'Shaughnessy (London Mets Baseball Club)
Kester Ratcliff (Brighton Baseball Club)
Miguel Rodriguez (Bracknell Blazers Baseball Club)
Zach Stroman (London Mets Baseball Club)
Mike Takata (Herts Baseball Club)
Matt Tarrant (London Mets Baseball Club)
Callum Vinall (Bracknell Blazers Baseball Club)
Dan Whitton (Bracknell Blazers Baseball Club)
Will Zucker (Herts Baseball Club)

Coaches for the HPA baseball sessions will include Liam Carroll, Will Lintern, Nik Patterson and Mark Mills, with Alan Dean and Lloyd Williams overseeing the Strength and Conditioning programme.

Fastpitch Softball

Grace Dickinson (London)
Lucy Hall (London)
Emma Harris (Hampton)
Ella Henson (London)
Laura Hirai (London)
Amie Hutchison (Fakenham)
Alys Thomas (Monmouth)
Immy Thomas (Maidenhead)
Chelsie Robison (Newbury)
Katie Schofield (Monmouth)
Annecy Stevens (London)
Chloe Wigington (Ascot)
Sian Wigington (Ascot)

Coaches for the HPA softball sessions will be Rachael Watkeys and Robbie Robison, with Alan Dean and Lloyd Williams again overseeing the Strength and Conditioning programme.

All HPA practice sessions for both baseball and softball, as well as the distance learning programme, will concentrate on both skill development plus strength and conditioning.

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