BaseballSoftballUK and Disability Sports Coach stage Baseball Festival

Fri 30 Aug 2019

On a sunny Friday at West Way Sports Centre in West London earlier this month, BaseballSoftballUK and Disability Sports Coach (DSC) held the first-ever adapted baseball festival for DSC club members. More than 25 members from DSC borough community clubs attended, taking part in coaching drills and then a series of games. The matches featured friendly yet competitive play and saw some huge hits and impressive fielding! With the MLB London Series as the inspiration, many of the participants had already played baseball at session hosted by their community club and/or at the Spring and Summer DSC Club Festivals.

BSUK coaches Mary Schofield and Tracey Wallin did a fantastic job alongside volunteers from DSC in making the event inclusive and enjoyable for all who took part. They also chose their participants who had demonstrated the best play and teamwork throughout the afternoon—the lucky players each receiving a New York Yankees cap.

The event capped off a year long programme of baseball within the DSC network, which has involved BSUK attending DSC Spring and Summer Club Festival events, Activator training for DSC coaches, and the inaugural Baseball Club Derby Series in December 2018. You can read more about BaseballSoftballUK at the DSC Summer Festival here.

"November's inaugural derby generated lots of interest, hence putting on a second session," noted Laura Abrahams, DSC's Club Development Officer. "Members enjoy the adaptability of baseball and love the feeling of just hitting the ball, along with the encouraging atmosphere."

There are future plans to further expand baseball with Disability Sport Coach, led by BSUK Development Manager Patrick Knock. In addition, BaseballSoftballUK intends to launch a blind baseball programme in London in the next 8-12 months with the assistance of trainers from Italy's Blind Baseball League, which wrapped up its 23rd season this year. 

"After a great year working with DSC to introduce baseball to members across their network of clubs we were very excited to hold the first adapted baseball festival," remarked Knock. "We can't wait to run more baseball programmes and expand the reach of the sport into more DSC community clubs over the next 12-18 months. The level of play has been really good and everyone who has played has really enjoyed the sport, which is so pleasing to see!"

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