Hull Scorpions awarded grant to set up community youth league

Thu 5 Jun 2014

The Hull Scorpions Baseball Club has just received a grant of £1230 from a government fund called Community First to set up a youth baseball/softball league in a deprived area of the city called the St Andrews Ward.

The club will match-fund the grant through volunteer hours, and hopes that more grants can be secured from applications made to Community First through 11 other wards in Hull.  The grant obtained in the St Andrews Ward marks an exciting start to the Scorpions' plans to have baseball/softball played throughout the city.

Deprived area

The St Andrews Ward, like all the wards eligible under this scheme countrywide, has been identified as a deprived area.  It covers the Hessle Road area  of Hull, which was famous for its fishing industry before fishing declined and was also the home of the Hull FC Rugby League team before it relocated to the KC Stadium.

The grant will be used to deliver taster sessions to five schools/community groups in the ward and to purchase bats, softballs, throwdown bases and batting tees for each of the groups.  Part of the money will pay for a coaching course for teachers and the remainder will be used to pay coaches to deliver the taster sessions.

The programme will be aimed at children and young people from 6-18 years of age, but the primary focus will be on ages 10-12 to fit in with BSUK's revived Play Ball initiative.  The hope is to get enough children involved to run a Play Ball! league in the area.

However, Hull Scorpions Chairman and former BBF President Kevin Macadam, who will oversee the programme, feels that the younger they can get kids started, the better.  “We are finding that the older the kids we talk to, the more sports they are already playing,” Kevin said, “so if we can get them excited about playing from as early as possible, then baseball and softball will be their first choice as they grow older.”

Community First

Community First is a government fund of £30 million, available to fund community projects in some of the most deprived areas of the country.  The funding encourages people to give time, expertise and resources towards projects they identify in their areas and helps to stimulate local action towards meeting community needs.

The scheme is a matched-fund programme, which means that every £1 provided in funding must be matched by a similar amount through in-kind donations (which can be donations of cash, services, free products or volunteer time).

Funding has been allocated at ward level across every local authority in England.  Eligible wards were selected on the basis of high levels of deprivation and significant increases in benefits claimants.  The amount of funding available for each area is based on the concentration of these characteristics within a ward.

Communities set up local panels in each eligible ward, and decide on the projects they want to fund in their area.

More information

For more information about the Hull Scorpions' project, contact Kevin Macadam on:

For more information about the Community First grant programme, managed by the Community Development Foundation, click here.

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