With the Great Britain Under-18 Women's National Team at the European Championship this week in Prague, BaseballSoftballUK Head of Performance Gary Anderson shared the following note, reflecting on the World Class Performance Programme Pathway being built by the British Softball Federation and BaseballSoftballUK:

"The GB Under-18 Women are in action this week at the U-18 European Championships in Czechia, playing in Pool D along with Spain, Germany, Hungary, and Ireland. The top two teams will progress to the knockout stage. Great Britain opened play with a 3-1, rain-shortened victory over the Germany on Sunday, and defeated Hungary 28-1 in three innings yesterday before dropping their second game of the day to Ireland.

The GBR U18 roster includes 16-year-old Jessica Chan, who made her Senior Women’s Team debut at the World Cup in Ireland. Chan, along with infielder Molly Blackwood, took part in the performance trial camp in Oklahoma this past June prior to the World Cup, along with Senior reserve player Laura Hirai, who serves as one of the team’s assistant coaches.

The GBR Softball World Class Programme Player Pathway's aim is to identify, attract, retain, and develop players to their full potential who ultimately go on to represent GBR at a senior level. Part of that work is the benchmarking of players' progression and ensuring that we fully understand what it will take to win at the highest level internationally.

This is the first opportunity for the U18 team to compete since 2018 (U19 at the time) due to Covid-19 and we see the U18 Europeans as one of our milestone events. The opportunity to assess young players in a competitive international softball environment is vital, and whilst the results are important, we are also closely monitoring and evaluating our performance process to ensure that we maintain the appropriate trajectory towards 2028."

Follow the U18s at the European Championships here.