Baseball5 brings families together at New City Primary School in Newham

Wed 8 Jan 2020

As part of BaseballSoftballUK’s commitment to developing baseball and softball opportunities in East London, specifically targeting the boroughs surrounding the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where the Major League Baseball London Series took place, we launched a pilot Baseball5 family project with New City Primary School in the London Borough of Newham.

By utilising Baseball5, an urban version of the game supported by the WBSC that can be played anywhere with just one ball, BSUK's Development team targeted Year Three and Year Four pupils, as well as their families, from New City Primary School to show them that they can easily be active together.

‘Little Big Baseball Club’ took place on Mondays after school over a six week period. The club was oversubscribed, attracting approx. 20 participants each week. Pupils were only allowed to attend the club if they were accompanied by a family member. Parents were taught the skills and ways in which they can take part in the game with their families allowing them to grow confidence and self-esteem, establish a greater family bond and have fun making new friends. To help sustain participation BaseballSoftballUK gave away Baseball5 balls at the end of the programme to each of the families so they were able to continue playing in their own time.

The club was so popular that the school have now decided to introduce baseball and softball as part of their PE curriculum offer.

Paul Archer, who works at New City Primary as a full-time sports coach and leads the club commented, “We were keen to be part of the pilot project with BaseballSoftballUK as it fit into our Little Big Clubs offer, which we introduced to try and get families at the school active in sport and physical activity together. Baseball5 has been the most popular activity we have had so far. It’s been great to see the impact the club has had on both the children and their families.”

One of the parents involved in the programme said that it was a, "shame it has ended as we have really enjoyed it. It’s been really fun bringing all of the children and their mums together.”

Following their first visit to the Little Big Baseball Club, a parent remarked,"My son really wanted to do Baseball, so I said I would do it. It’s a shame there aren't more opportunities like this as I think children really want to spend time doing this sort of thing with their parents.”

Another parent stated, “I have seen my son’s confidence grow so much. He wouldn’t join any other club as he didn’t know anyone, so this has been a big thing for him. If you had seen him at the first session to what he is like now, he has really grown in confidence and has made new friends. We are still going to continue coming to the club to do tennis after Christmas.”

Nicole Napier, BSUK Partnership Development Manager commented, “It’s been great working with New City Primary School to pilot the family Baseball5 programme. They have really bought into the project which is why it has been such a success. To see families playing, enjoying taking part and wanting to continue proves that with the right offer we can get more people playing our sports and support families being active together.”

All of the parents agreed that taking part in the club has made them think about doing additional activities with their children in the future and all of them have committed to continue attending the club after Christmas when a new activity will be introduced.

BaseballSoftballUK plan to utilise the success of this family Baseball5 pilot by introducing it into more areas in East London. We are looking to partner with UK Active to secure external funding to offer the activity to more primary schools as well as introducing a secondary school and community ‘park’ offer. If you are interested in bringing Baseball5 to your school, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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