BBF umpire Thomas Haywood features on BBC LGBT Sport Podcast

Tue 18 Dec 2018

BBF umpire Thomas Haywood has been featured on one of the latest broadcasts in the BBC’s LGBT Sport Podcast series, hosted by Jack Murley.

During the 24-minute broadcast, Thomas talks about his journey from a Scottish boy who was bullied and hated sport at school to becoming one of the most respected umpires in the UK and Europe, with 825 games under his belt since 2005.

Interest in baseball was sparked when Thomas was a university exchange student in America and re-kindled when he came home to discover that baseball existed in Scotland and found he was more successful as an administrator and eventually an umpire than as a player.  But the turning point was his determination to learn how to do the job properly, which led him to attend a five-week course at the Jim Evans Umpire School in Florida in 2004; this gave him the tools not only to umpire at a high level but to deal with aggression from managers and players.

In the podcast, Thomas talks about coming out and the general acceptance he found within the British baseball community and describes the highlight of his umpire career that came in a World Cup training game between Sweden and South Korea prior to the Beijing Olympics.

Thomas also talks about his other volunteer interest, as an organiser with Outdoor Lads, a Manchester-based group for gay, bi and trans-gender men interested in outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, rowing, climbing and camping.

You can listen to the podcast here

BSUK and the LGBT community

Softball and baseball in the UK have a long history of being welcoming and inclusive sports for members of the LGBT community.

LGBT players are spread throughout a playing community of more than 24,000 in cities and towns around the UK.

BSUK’s direct work with the LGBT community has so far taken place primarily in London and Manchester, but an LGBT Advisory Panel -- of which Thomas Haywood is a member -- was created in May 2017 to widen the scope and reach of that work.

The purpose of the Panel is to set the strategy for BSUK’s LGBT work and to monitor and evaluate BSUK’s effectiveness in delivering the strategy.  In addition, the Panel will help to draft relevant policy and will formally engage more people from the baseball and softball communities in the development of the sports for LGBT participants. 

Anyone interested in the work of the LGBT Advisory Panel, or in getting involved, should contact Luis Arrevillagas

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