BaseballSoftballUK launched the Facilities Fund in 2021; since then, more than £22,000 has been awarded to teams across the UK to improve their grassroots facilities. As the third round of Facilities Fund awards approaches in April, we'll be taking a look back at some of the funded projects, and how the Facilities Fund has helped change the game for grassroots clubs! Without further adieu...

Club Name: Birmingham Baseball Club

Funding Awarded: 23 April 2021

Project applied for: We applied for funding to purchase and improve the following fixed assets:

  • A new backstop
  • Infield diamond and pitcher's mound
  • A club storage shed
  • A new bullpen/batting cage combination
  • CCTV and Vandalism deterrents

How did your club match funding for the Facilities Fund?

Birmingham matched funding through a crowdfunding campaign and through club membership fees.

Did you spend all of the funding? How did you spend it?

"Yes, we used much of the funding to purchase a new batting cage. We also used funds to repair and upgrade the backstop with help and support from a local steel fabricator. Some funds were also used to purchase sand-clay mix for use on the field. We also purchased some anti-vandalism signage to act as a deterrent."

Has your project helped grow and sustain participation as well as increased satisfaction among participants?

The Facilities Fund grant helped increase Birmingham's ability to get more people involved in baseball simultaneously during training sessions. By running drills in the batting cage while also running infield or outfield drills on the field, the club was able to keep people active, engaged, and moving during training, which has a profound effect on people's attitudes at training and their desire to return each week.

What has the Facilities Fund award meant to the club?

"The awarding of this fund has allowed us to increase our productivity during training and allowed for a lower maintenance field which gives us more time for developing our skills. This has given us positive results in gameplay and a positive view of our facilities by all who come to play in Birmingham. Thanks to the BSUK we now have one of the best fields in the Midlands if not the country."

If your club or team is interested in finding out more about the Facilities Fund, click here. The 2023 Facilities Fund Awards will be announced in early April.

Thank you to Bob from Birmingham Baseball Club for supplying both the answers and images