Future Leaders Group


Future Leaders group logoThe Future Leaders Group was set up in 2009 and re-branded in 2014 to recruit and develop the next generation of leaders for baseball and softball in the UK.

 The idea behind the Group is to formally engage more young people in the development of the sports, by setting up a pathway and structure that will enable young people to take up leading roles.

The group's aims are to:

  • Foster creative ideas.
  • Provide a forum where issues and ideas can be openly discussed.
  • Lend support to initiatives which can be brought forward to the Federations.
  • Offer training, support and guidance to the future leaders of our sports.
  • Offer networking opportunities.
  • Provide experience of working in a professional sports environment.
  • Provide representation for all 16-25 year old participants in our sports.

Benefits for Young People

Future Leaders members have a chance to act as role models to inspire and support other young people involved in the sports, and to promote active and healthy lifestyles. They will work with the professional and experienced sport development team at BSUK and will have the opportunity to engage and work closely with County Sport Partnerships, other national governing bodies of sport, experienced volunteers and high-level coaches.

Future Leaders members will have the opportunity to attend coaching and sport development courses and to acquire transferable skills and experience in organisation and leadership that will serve them well with future employers.

One of the many benefits of the Future Leaders is that members can apply to the Group for funding to do a course of their choice. It could be related to baseball or softball (such as a coaching or umpiring course) or it could be a different kind of course altogether. For instance, a graphic design or photography course or a course in journalism skills or how to write a blog could benefit your development and career but can also can be seen as a skill you can use for the benefit of the Future Leaders. 


BSUK and the Future Leaders will expect selected candidates to:

  • Attend Future Leaders meetings which are held twice a year (expenses will be covered).
  • Work in a professional manner and as part of a team.
  • Have access to email and check it regularly.
  • Act as a role model to inspire and support other young people.

How to Join

Young people aged 16 to 25, whether they have been involved in baseball and softball previously, are invited to express interest in being part of the Future Leaders Group. For those under 18, parental consent will need to be provided.


Download an application form.

The completed form can be emailed back to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Ashley Ng

Ashley NG I've played softball for my school throughout my secondary school years in Singapore and have always held a strong passion for the sport. Since coming to  university in London, I've been active in the Imperial College Baseball Blub and have started training with the London Mets Baseball Club as well.

As part of the BSUK Future Leaders Group, I hope to be able to contribute to the development of baseball and softball at the university level and create a competitive league for university players to develop the quality of their game.


David Hurley

Youth Panel David HurleyI first watched baseball on Channel 5 in 2004, but never played until 2008 when I took up softball at Portsmouth University, playing for the UPSU Shafters. Since then I have held roles on the club committee including Secretary, Team Captain and now President, a role I've held for the past three and a half years. Since gaining my Level 2 coaching licence, I have been made Head Coach of the university softball team, won the 'Softball Young Volunteer Coach of the Year' award in 2011 and I also assist at BSUK's National Academy.

I also started playing baseball during the summer of 2011 for the Brentwood Stags and currently hold the position of Fastpitch Officer with BASU, the softball Umpires' Association. I have played for a number of slowpitch teams, and in 2012 played for the UPSU Shafters, SPAM, Solent Spartans, Solent Stingrays and Solent Mariners. I worked for BSUK in the summer of 2010 as a Summer Coach across London and was fortunate enough to travel to Rotterdam to learn from some great MLB coaches at the 2012 European Coach Clinic.

Playing and volunteering in the baseball and softball world has been hugely rewarding for me, especially as I have been studying Sports Development at Portsmouth University since September 2011. Joining the Future Leaders has not only given me tremendous experience of working in a professional sports setting but also a great opportunity to represent the young people in our community, and to bring forward ideas and suggestions to the British Baseball Federation, British Softball Federation and BaseballSoftballUK.


Baljit Ahluwalia

I was recently employed by BSUK as a community coach in the North West. Before I joined I had very little knowledge of both sports, but through training and courses I am now a qualified Level 2 Softball Coach. Even though I am qualified, I am always learning new skills and techniques and aim to build as much knowledge about both sports as I can.

I agreed to join the Future Leaders as someone who is new to both sports and to give my opinions and views if and when required to enhance the status of these sports within Great Britain. As someone who is sporty I enjoy playing a variety of sports and I hope that through the Future Leaders there will be more opportunities for individuals to become involved in sports and a healthy lifestyle.


Thomas Allen

Thomas AllenI am currently studying Sports Development at the University of Chester.  Although I have relatively little experience of playing softball and baseball apart from a few PE lessons at secondary school and college, I  am very excited about the opportunity to get more people playing softball and raising awareness on my campus through my role as Higher Education Softball Officer and as a member of the BSUK Future Leaders.



Lucy Barker

Lucy BarkerI am currently studying Sports Coaching and Performance at Bucks New University (BNU) and fell in love with softball when I was first introduced to it at secondary school.

Although I had never joined a team outside of school, I was eager to sign up as soon as I heard that BNU were running trial softball sessions during my first year. These sessions were a success and BNU were keen to develop a Softball Society, from which myself and one other person were chosen to be Softball Development Officers. We soon established the Society within the university and I am now Chair of the Society.

I have recently gained my Level 1 Softball Coaching qualification and this, along with my work at BNU, has inspired me to want to promote softball further and learn more from the community.

Although I have no current experience with baseball, I am looking to change this soon.


Peter Baxendale

Youth Panel Peter BaxendaleI have enjoyed playing baseball for three years now. In that time, I have become a coach, and the Secretary of Oldham Baseball Club. I joined the Future Leaders to offer my experience and ideas. Baseball is a big passion of mine, which I first experienced in 1998 on a family trip to Toronto. Together with the other members, I feel we can offer a fresh approach to baseball and softball. I devote a lot of my time to baseball, something I'm very committed to. I enjoy working with the Future Leaders and helping to develop our sports.


Billy Liu

Future Leaders Billy Liu I am from Taiwan, where we are Number 4 in the IBAF world rankings. Baseball in Taiwan is a gorgeous sport and we call it a “symbol of the Taiwanese spirit”.

I started to play baseball at the age of nine and joined my first team at eleven. This time marked a dramatic moment of change in my life. I had the chance to taste the game, experience the fun of baseball and win matches with fellow teammates.

I am most happy that BSUK's Future Leaders Group has given me the opportunity to work in their baseball/softball environment. I will continue to learn as well as teach and promote the game. I am so grateful that I could contribute something positive for the sport I love, and thanks to BSUK.


Georgiana Craciun
Future Leaders Chair

Almost 12 years ago, someone put in my hand a glove and a ball for me to play with as I liked. From that moment I knew I liked to play softball. It took me an entire year to convince my mother to give her permission for me to play and there has been not one single second I would consider giving up. For me, BSUK Future Leaders gives me the chance to work towards my dream: to develop and to increase softball in both popularity and participation. I sincerely believe in the Future Leaders programme and in our generation because we will take this sport back into the Olympics.


Leonel Hernandez

I've been playing baseball since I was three years old and it's my passion.

I started to play in Caracas, Venezuela, which is famous for producing good players.

I have always participated in the development of baseball as a way to improve the community. Most people from my country believe that baseball is one of the best sports in the world and everyone can learn and improve the community through baseball.


Michael Jones

Michael JonesLike many people my age, I got into baseball due to a lack of sleep when studying for exams! On hearing that there were teams in my local area I was determined to try it out.

Having played baseball for five years, I gave softball a go with my fiancée last summer and loved every minute. I have already undertaken a number of roles in baseball, ranging from organising press work to running a club, and I bring my experience as an administrator, writer and as a player to the Future Leaders.

I play cricket and hockey as well and will aim to bring the best aspects of these to the development of both sports for the future.


Simon Langton

Youth Panel Simon LangtonI have been playing baseball since I was seven and began playing adult level in 2003. In that time I have attended training camps in Florida, played for the 2001 Play Ball World Series AAA team and attained my Level 2 coaching qualification. I decided to join the Future Leaders so that I could use my experience and knowledge to give something back to the game.

You can follow Simon's excellent 'sports volunteer' blog on the Do-it.org.uk website.


Linni Mitchell

Linni MitchellI joined the Mossley Mayhem Softball Club as a rookie in the summer of 2010 and graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2012 with a degree in Sports Development with Coaching.

I hope that joining the Future Leaders will enable me to assist with the development of the sports, at both youth and adult level, and this opportunity will allow me to further knowledge of sport development.



Stephen Prosser

Stephen ProsserHaving held a great fondness for both baseball and softball and always watching with interest during the MLB season, I recently became a University Softball Officer for the University of Central Lancashire.

While on an internship in Tanzania in 2012 I was able to play, coach and run softball events while learning about the game and how people can be developed within it.

I have always wanted to promote lesser-known sports to the general public, as I believe there is a sport out there for everyone to enjoy. Joining the Future Leaders is my opportunity to spread the word about baseball and softball and I hope to get more and more people involved in the future.


Paul Richardson

It's been less than a year since I took to the field for the first time, but after many years of watching baseball, I finally decided to get involved, playing for my nearest team, the Newton Aycliffe Spartans. And, in the short space of time since then, I've not only played but also coached and umpired. 

My playing may stay local in the North East as far as baseball is concerned, but my coaching has taken me to the US working in a summer camp on Long Island in association with Cornell University. 

Through my volunteering for American Football I found out about 'Hit the Pitch' and dived straight in.  Soon after, I was contacted about joining the BSUK Future Leaders, and I accepted the opportunity and the challenge.  I am looking forward to having an input on the development of both softball and baseball at a university level in the UK as a University Softball Officers at Leeds Metropolitan University, as well as using my degree as a foundation for increasing participation at a grassroots level in primary schools.


Stephanie Schraeder

Stephanie SchraederBio to follow...





Andre​w Stone

Andrew StoneI am currently studying Sports Coaching at the University of Chester.  I play a range of sports, including rugby and football, but have had limited experience of softball -- only a few PE lessons back in secondary school.  However, I look forward to developing the sport on campus in my role as University Softball Officer, bringing this highly enjoyable sport to students and staff alike.



Junqing Zhao​

I am from Beijing, China, and started to play baseball in 2008. China is similar to the UK, but is an even bigger "baseball desert". So I very much understand and feel the difficulty of playing baseball in the UK and I see promoting baseball as my duty.

Therefore, I am happy to join the Future Leaders and share my international experience in pursuing a magnificent future for baseball along with my colleagues. And, since I have been trained by some former professional players and coaches, I am eager to offer my knowledge to young and new players.

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