First-ever Farnham Park School Softball Series held in Bucks

Mon 7 Jul 2014

The first Farnham Park School Softball Series (FPSSS) concluded with a final round of games between local schools on 19 June, with saw the Challoners Chargers Team One finishing as champions.  Overall, eight teams took part in the FPSSS, a programme run by BaseballSoftballUK to encourage schools across Buckinghamshire to create and sustain softball clubs.  Games were played at Farnham Park in Slough, South Bucks, giving school children from the area an opportunity to play at the country’s premier baseball and softball facility.

The FPSSS, which began on 15 May, was set up with funding support from Sportivate, secured from the Bucks and Milton Keynes Sports Partnership to aid the creation of after-school clubs.  This included delivering coaching at schools and helping facilitate FPSSS game days. 

The quality of the coaching and organisation resulted in a good experience for participants, many of whom were trying softball for the first time.  Duncan Fawcett, coach of the Chalfont Centurions (Chalfonts Community College), said, “The FPSSS was great for us as it offered the chance for our students to receive high quality coaching at the same time as playing, which is something that we don’t really offer here.

“It was a really fun atmosphere but quite competitive at the same time, and we were pleased to finish in second position overall.

“The players commented that it was an easy sport to pick up but a challenge to master.  As a result, we’re now running a weekly coaching session for softball and will teach this in our PE lessons.”

BSUK’s aim is that the FPSSS becomes an annual event as part of establishing sustainable softball clubs at the schools.

Final day

Three teams met to complete the series schedule on 19 June, with the results as follows:

Chalfont Centurions 8, Wycombe High School 5
Challoners Chargers Team Two 7, Wycombe High School 5
Chalfont Centurions 6, Challoners Chargers Team Two 2

The Chalfont Centurions’ two victories secured them second place in the overall standings behind the champions, Challoners Chargers Team One.

Final standings

1. Challoners Chargers Team One
2. Chalfont Centurions
3. Amersham Aftershocks
4. Wycombe High School
5. Burnham Grizzlies
6. Challoners Chargers Team Two
7. Cressex Crusaders

The participating schools were: Burnham Grammar School, Chalfont Community College, Buckingham School, Cressex Community School, Wycombe High School, Challoners High Girls School, Dr Challoners Boys School and Amersham School.   Players came from the 13-15 age group (Years 9 and 10).

Plans for the future

Following the positive reception for this year’s programme, BSUK aims to run the Farnham Park School Softball Series each year.  BSUK Regional Development Manager Patrick Knock is already looking to 2015, when he hopes to help the schools consolidate their softball clubs, create a greater awareness of the sport among their pupils and enhance the experience by organising team uniforms and banners.

“I'm really pleased that we have been able to secure the funding to run the FPSSS project this year," Patrick said, "providing the schools with brand new equipment, a teacher-training course and creating a new competition structure based around the iconic facility of Farnham Park.

“I'll be continuing to support the schools to ensure their school softball clubs grow and that more students are feeding through to play baseball and softball regularly.”

Patrick also issued a big thank you to the local coaches and facilitators for their involvement and facilitation in the FPSSS this summer: Julie Spittle, Emma Rhodes, Keith Jameson, Neil Turner, Lucy Barker and Jeremy Neads.

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