The British Softball Federation and BaseballSoftballUK are proud to announce that Tara Henry has been appointed as the seventh Head Coach in modern Great Britain Senior Women’s National Fastpitch Softball Team history.

Henry takes over from Rachael Watkeys, who stepped down this past September following the team’s successful silver-medal performance at the 2022 European Women’s Championship in Barcelona.

The appointment process was undertaken through a rigorous evaluation of candidates by Head of Performance Systems Gary Anderson, in partnership with the British Softball Federation. Discussing the recruitment process, Anderson said, “Following the successful European Championship campaign, we undertook a very thorough analysis of performance requirements, taking into account our athlete and staff feedback and taking counsel from other nations and international coaches.”

“We then advertised to recruit a Head Coach for the programme,” Anderson added, “and received a large amount of interest from very strong candidates.”

Tara Henry working with athletesHenry, a California native, has experience across the softball world. A former NCAA college champion with the UCLA Bruins in 2004, Henry earned her Master’s degree in Sport and International Development from the University of Brighton (UK) in 2017. Her coaching career started with private instruction and Academy sessions after graduation from UCLA in 2007, working with former teammate Ashley Herrera. Henry then moved to University High San Francisco, where she had her first head coaching role.

Internationally, Henry served as an assistant at the 2018 Canada Cup with the GB Under-18 Women’s Team under Head Coach Robbie Robison, and has also coached in Malta and Botswana. Henry also continued her playing career abroad, playing in Croatia at club level, and for the London Angels in European competition.    

As well as coaching, Henry has been active in the world softball community, founding Run the Bases, an international organization dedicated to teaching life skills through the sport of softball. Working primarily in The Gambia, Run the Bases has been active in combatting gender inequality in sport and society since 2017. Additionally, Henry serves as Managing Editor or, a website dedicated to collegiate softball in the United States.

“Given the requirements of the role at this stage of our 2028 strategy,” Gary Anderson said, “Tara Henry was a standout candidate and after meeting with her I am delighted she accepted the role. I am looking forward to working with her to set the strategy for long-term sustained success.”

Tara Henry said, “This job is near and dear to my heart. After getting my Master’s degree at Brighton in 2017, I fell back in love with the game after some time away from softball. My passion for the game on the international stage, specifically in the UK, is one of the reasons I’m back in softball and observing the game here over the past six years has been nothing short of inspirational."  

“I want to pay tribute to Rachael Watkeys,” Henry continued, “who grew the programme so much over the past few years and helped the team reach new heights – she built an incredibly strong foundation for the GB Women’s Team programme.”

Henry added, “I’m very eager to get started on this journey with GB Softball. With the Softball World Cup Qualifier in 2023, and the Los Angeles Olympics in five years’ time, this is an exciting time for the sport in the UK. Thank you to Gary Anderson, the British Softball Federation, and BaseballSoftballUK for trusting me with this incredible opportunity.”

Henry’s role will include the responsibility to recruit and manage a team of technical coaches to help deliver the very best performance at the 2023 WBSC Softball World Cup Qualifier, building on the excellent silver medal won by the GB Women’s Team at the 2022 European Championships.

The Great Britain Senior Women’s National Fastpitch Softball Team will next compete at the 2023 Softball World Cup Qualifiers next summer in either Ireland, Spain or Italy in July. Tournament details will be announced in due course, with two teams from each Qualifier advancing to the World Cup Finals in 2024.

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