Hit The Pitch college project in West London creates three new softball teams
Mon 9 Jul 2012
The BaseballSoftballUK London region staff have been working closely with three colleges in West London to run a second year of slowpitch softball activity. With the £3,640 of funding secured by BSUK via the Sport England Small Grants scheme, coaching sessions have been delivered both indoors and outdoors at Uxbridge College, Stanmore College and St Dominic's College throughout the 2011-2012 school year. The focused funding and hard work by BSUK's coaches has resulted in three new further education (FE) teams.
The 2011-2012 programme consisted of Hit the Pitch development sessions in each college, after which a core group of students came together for two competition dates at nearby Northwick Park on May 30th and June 13th. The three colleges now have teams that will continue playing together in the months and hopefully years to come:
Stanmore College Sluggers
Uxbridge College Emperors
St. Dominic's Fire Dogs
Excellent working relationships
The sport staff at the three colleges have all agreed that the softball last year and this year has been a great addition to their departmental offerings and has allowed for a fun alternative to cricket and rounders with another striking-and-fielding sport with girls and boys playing together.
Shayne Chandler, Sports Academy Coordinator at Uxbridge College, had this to say: "Uxbridge College and BaseballSoftballUK established an excellent working relationship through the hard work and endeavours of Patrick Knock and Liam Carroll, which was made possible through Sport England funding.
"As such, a large number of students have been introduced to softball in the past academic year with opportunities to receive free top quality coaching and the chance to participate in both internal competitions as well as fixtures against other colleges. In addition, the college received an equipment bag as well as softball playing shirts, which helped to positively promote the sport further.
"The foundations that have been laid can now be taken forward into the next academic year where softball participation can increase at the college, especially as two members of staff successfully completed the BSUK Softball Level 1 Coaching Award early in 2012."
More planned for 2013
Patrick Knock, BSUK's Regional Development Manager, is also pleased with the work he and colleague Liam Carroll have undertaken with the colleges:
"Its been satisfying to see this development work come together with the creation of three new FE teams all with great team names! We've also put in place what we feel are the key steps to ensure the softball is sustainable at these colleges – up-skilling of staff, provision of equipment bags and team kit and, most importantly, interest and excitement amongst the students themselves. We want to see another tournament next year amongst the three colleges and we'll also begin work with sixth forms in the area.”