Sport England Renews Long-term Investment into Baseball and Softball
10 May 2022
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - BaseballSoftballUK is set to receive guidance, support and an investment of £2.3 million of Government and National Lottery funding from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitions of its 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy, as part of a group of over 120 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to open up access to sport and physical activity across the country.
The award is set to cover a five-year period to provide systemic and governance services, incorporating delivery and talent development for three years, from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2027.
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “Sport England’s goal is to get everyone active – no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background is. But we know that certain groups are more likely to be inactive. We can only innovate and tackle inequalities effectively by thinking about long-term change; Uniting the Movement is a long-term vision, and our funding approach needs to reflect that. Changes to our funding model will help us achieve our goal, by making it easier for our partners to do what they need to do to level up and deliver.”
BaseballSoftballUK is the development agency for the sports that provided services to the British Softball Federation (BSF) and the baseball community for more than 20 years since it was founded by the sports in 2000.
BaseballSoftballUK has received major funding awards from Sport England since 2005, and the award recognises BaseballSoftballUK’s 22-year history of development across the sports, as well as its foundational role and commitment in delivering system-wide change, in alignment with Sport England’s strategy to tackle inequalities, focusing on women and girls, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups.
The award will enable BaseballSoftballUK to continue delivering its Two Sports, One Ambition strategy, launched in 2020, to get more people playing baseball and softball in more places. The organisation will continue to focus on delivering targeted participation, talent development, supporting grassroots leagues, clubs and teams become safer, stronger and more sustainable, as well as developing BaseballSoftballUK’s own organisational health.
The funding award comes at a particularly exciting time for baseball and softball in the UK with yesterday’s announcement in New York by Major League Baseball (MLB) and London Mayor Sadiq Khan of the return of the London Series in 2023, 2024 and 2026. The London Series first took place in 2019 when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees played at London Stadium. Due to return in 2020, the following year was later suspended.
Phil Veasey, Chair of BaseballSoftballUK, said: “Today’s announcement from Sport England, our most important strategic partner, allows us to continue with our mission to develop baseball and softball, and use them as a means to tackle inequality, by equipping us with all the tools needed to do so. The role BaseballSoftballUK is set to play with future MLB London Series, also announced yesterday, gives me enormous confidence that growth in our sports and our organisation will be fast-tracked like never before.”
Part of the London Series announcement was the formation of the MLB London Legacy Group to include BaseballSoftballUK, the Greater London Authority and other key stakeholders in the UK. BaseballSoftballUK has been asked to lead on this Group, tasked on delivering a wide-reaching and long-term legacy program that maximizes the impact of hosting MLB regular-season games in London, with particular focus on East London and the Boroughs of Newham, Barnet, Barking & Dagenham, Hackney, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. Plans will explore working with all primary and secondary schools, local clubs and leagues, establishing pop up baseball and softball community clubs, university programming, the creation of new clubs and support to existing baseball and softball community clubs, as well as a focus on talent development.
BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) is the national development agency for baseball and softball in the United Kingdom. BSUK has provided services to the British Softball Federation (BSF) and the baseball community for more than 20 years, with the ambition of developing and increasing the levels of participation, skill and achievement of baseball and softball across the United Kingdom. This occurs both at the junior and adult levels, from school and grassroots through domestic adult clubs up to the Great Britain national teams.
About Sport England
Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.
It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active - like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.
Sport England’s Active Lives Survey 2020-21 shows that some groups are typically less active – like women, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance and your postcode.