BaseballSoftballUK and Great Britain Baseball were delighted to be invited to attend UK Sport PLx 2022 premier annual event for performance leaders to connect, develop and learn from within and across the high-performance community. Drew Spencer, Head Coach and Lead Programme Manager for GB Baseball, Colin Barrett, BSUK Performance Pathway Manager and BSUK Pathway Performance Coach Alyson Spinas-Valainis joined Gary Anderson BSUK’s Head of Performance at the prestigious event.

What is PLx?

PLx is UK Sport’s annual high-performance conference, which took place in Manchester this year. The 2022 event was the 21st annual conference, and featured speakers, coaches, and performance staff from across the UK, with the 2022 PLx Awards taking place on the first night of the conference. This is the first time that BSUK and GB Baseball have taken part in PLx – an indication of the rise of baseball and softball in the UK over recent years, especially in the high-performance realm.


Head of Performance Gary Anderson: “This was the 21st edition of this event and having attended in the early years, it has become a highlight of my year. The opportunity to meet with inspirational people and listen to such brilliant stories allows me to continue to learn about this everchanging world of high-performance. I was immensely proud of my colleagues who attended from Baseball and Softball and how they now feel part of the UK High-Performance Sporting system.”

Great Britain Baseball Head Coach & Lead Programme Manager Drew Spencer: “It’s difficult to put the PLx experience into words. It was really incredible being in that environment, where we were able to share our knowledge, experiences and plans with the people who are directly involved with Great Britain’s success on the biggest sporting stages in the world was something that will stay with me forever. It was inspiring to be able to interact with and be inspired by World Champions and Olympic Gold medalists like Dame Katherine Grainger, highly respected Performance Directors, and coaches from every corner of “Team GB”.

It is through opportunities like PLx that we will build the platform for Baseball that will see us achieve our goals of success in the long term. I felt both honoured to be part of it and am truly grateful to Gary Anderson and the team at BSUK who made this possible”

Performance Pathway & Academy Manager Colin Barrett: “PLx was an eye-opener for me. Meeting people and making friends that are part of the “Family” of the British Olympic, Paralympic and UK Sport Performance Pathway was incredible. From coaches to administrators to athletes, everyone welcomed us with open arms and were more than happy to chat about sport and performance. To be able to listen and take in the knowledge and their experiences was fantastic.

Everyone had the same purpose of being at PLx and it showed. What I understand about performance sport from baseball and softball in my years of experience has come from a high level, but this was certainly a whole new level. From planning, development, coaching and being able to get GB athletes to be the best they possibly could before and during competitions, world championships, and Olympic and Paralympic games was amazing to hear about.

Team GB has set goals and ambitions for every single athlete, coach, manager, administrator and will definitely go the extra mile to make it happen. Medal Zone is a priority for all codes and their motto says it all - “Win, Win Well”

Pathway Performance Coach Alyson Spinas-Valainis: “Attending the PLX Conference and Awards was an incredible experience. Being able to share time and space with the biggest sports in both Britain and, in some cases, the world, was an exciting and humbling experience. The conversations, perspectives, and ethos of the people at the head of their respective sports was valuable beyond measure and a crucial reminder of what performance sport looks and works like. I am thrilled to endeavor to deliver those standards to our own World Performance System and sport.”


During the Conference the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community came together for the UK Sport PLx awards on Tuesday evening, where the outstanding achievements and contributions of individuals, teams and sports during 2022 were recognised. A complete list of award winners can be found here.

Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair at UK Sport, said, “As the year draws to a close, I look forward to what’s ahead and I’m sure 2023 will be filled with more inspiring performances both on and off the field of play.”