Redbacks secure more funding to improve youth facilities

Wed 16 Apr 2014

Redbacks Baseball & Softball has confirmed that the club has received funding to build a permanent backstop for junior teams at its Billericay ground in Forest Glade.

The news comes just a week after securing funding for a backstop on the senior baseball diamond at Melbourne Park, Chelmsford (for more information, click here).

The new backstop at Billericay will provide an excellent facility for the club's youngest players (aged 14 and under) and for the Redbacks' developing softball programme.  The backstop has been made possible by funding from Basildon Council's Community Investment Fund, part of almost £200,000 of grants given to local sports clubs and community groups.
 

Key aim

Club Treasurer and Under-14 Manager Richard Crabb said: “For those of us working with the junior teams, this has been the main aim for the past five years.  We've done fantastic things with the limited facilities we've had since we set up back in 2009, including taking the youngsters to the brink of the national title in 2013.  We hope this will herald a new dawn for the club and can enhance the young players' experience of baseball and softball here in Essex.”

The new backstop will stand around 3m high and will include safety fencing to protect players and spectators.  It is scheduled to be fully installed by the end of May, in time to be used for home games for the second half of the season.

Head Youth Coach Sean Briscomb hopes that the backstop will allow for more use of the club's facility throughout the year and be an effective tool to attract more people who pass along the busy Barleylands Road, next to which the backstop will stand.

Briscomb said: “It's fantastic news that we are now able to proceed with the construction of this great backstop, which will be one of the best available for junior players anywhere in the country.  I'd like to thank Forest Glade Sports Club and Barleylands Farm’s Mr Philpot for their continued support of the club in bringing baseball and softball to the area.

“Additionally, on game days and at training,” Briscomb continued, “we'll be able to hang sponsor signs on the backstop which will be seen by people travelling along the road to and from Barleylands Farm and by those playing football throughout the summer.”

Redbacks Softball Manager Phil Candice is also excited about the new opportunities the backstop will provide.  “It's fantastic for growth of softball in the area,” he said.  “This backstop will be able to be used throughout the year – for our own club players, to host tournaments and for corporate events.  We'll be able to run many more activities and I hope it will lead to increased interest in the club and the sport.”
 

Training

The Redbacks' junior teams, with players aged 4-16, will continue to train on Wednesday evenings from 6.00-7:30 pm throughout the summer, with matches scheduled for Saturdays.  Little Redbacks training, for children aged 4-10, will take place on Sunday mornings from 11:00 am -1:00 pm.

All the club's coaches have at least BaseballSoftballUK Level 1 coaching certificates and full CRB/DBS checks.  Redbacks Baseball & Softball also has Clubmark accreditation, ensuring best practice and protection for players aged 18 and under.

Senior training for the Redbacks' two adult teams (players aged 16 and over) takes place on Wednesday evenings from 7.00-8:30 pm at Forest Glade, Billericay and from 6.00-8.00 pm at Melbourne Park, Chelmsford.  The adult teams play games on Sundays against teams across the country at the second and fourth-highest divisions of the British Baseball Federation (BBF) leagues.
 

Contacts

For more information about the Redbacks, the new facility or ways to get involved on or off the field, contact Sean Briscomb on: sean@essexredbacks.com or 07877 580474.

To keep up to date with all the goings-on at the club, visit the website at www.essexredbacks.com or interact on Twitter via the handle @essexredbacks.

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