This Girl Can…Return to Play!



With baseball and softball officially returning earlier this week, three of our female players discussed what the Return to Play means to them! Want to add your story? Female players are encouraged to get in touch .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Submitted by Jess Vernon, Manager of Belles Baseball

As opportunities for team sports were limited this past year, we formed the Belles Baseball Team, Britain’s newest women’s baseball team, in October as restrictions eased and played some baseball together!

We managed to keep in regular contact during the second lockdown with video calls, exercising together, watching baseball and getting to know each other. These have been really positive, often providing a break from sitting at the dining table all day.

We’re all really looking forward to seeing each other and playing on the same field, especially in anticipation of the new women’s league starting.

Our team philosophy is to educate, develop and improve. Women are always welcome in baseball, whether that’s on a senior or youth team - if anyone is interested in playing baseball, let us know!

Get in touch with the Belles on Facebook or Instagram.

Submitted by Julie Spittle, Manager Great Britain Cubs Under-13 Girls Team

The pandemic hit and it was difficult at first to try and keep active. Luckily, I have a garden and this proved a life saver. The biggest barrier I faced was myself and the lack of will to get up and actually do some exercise! With help from my sister and fellow coaches, I got myself into a good routine of cycling, walking, workouts and softball chats.

Not working and not seeing my family or friends on or off a softball diamond was hard but thankfully video calls and group chats helped with this.

Through video calls, a group of us kept up our softball skills. This was brilliant and helped me to keep track of the days of the week. The coaches and I kept in contact with our team and made sure they knew we were available if they needed any help with drills or how to improve in a particular aspect of the sport. 

I am looking forward to getting back on the diamond both as a player and a coach. As a player, I feel a little apprehensive that is potentially dampening my elation and as a coach I will do my best to keep my teams safe.

Submitted by Doris Hocking, General Manager, Women's Great Britain Baseball Team

Amanda Hocking, General Manager of the Women's Great Britain Baseball Team, has seen a huge impact on the sport and also on players’ physical and mental well-being.

Ideally, you need someone to train with which has been difficult for players during lockdown; not being able to compete and socialise has left players feeling lost. Despite facing these barriers, it has fuelled us in many ways as we prepare for the BBF Women's League that will debut in May. During lockdown, we have gone from zero to eight teams which is a clear indication that our women/girls are eager to get back onto a baseball diamond. The GB programme has been holding online sessions and analysing players via video footage to help strengthen the National team.

Unfortunately, the European Championship has since been cancelled due to Covid but that has certainly not stopped our Lionesses from training!

Submitted by Liz Warner, Bracknell Baseball & Softball Club, former GB Slowpitch National Team Player

In March 2020, I was looking forward to playing softball during the week and most weekends during the summer. Softball provides me with a source of exercise, personal motivation and an active social life. Then the coronavirus hit, lockdown hit, no softball was allowed, I was obliged to shield, no exercise and no social interaction was permitted. Softball is a big part of my life so playing ball is the norm for me. My club, Bracknell Baseball and Softball, have provided online training, virtual social nights which has made lockdown a little easier to endure.

Fortunately, the UK roadmap to come out of lockdown and the extraordinary speed of the vaccination programme has allowed me to volunteer at our national facility in Buckinghamshire, Farnham Park Baseball & Softball Complex, providing me with a source of exercise and mental wellbeing.

So THIS GIRL CAN bolt drag, nail drag and matt a diamond. And This Girl Can now condition her glove and dust of her cleats ready to play ball!

Get in touch with the Bracknell Blazers on Facebook or Twitter.

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