London Raiders win Manchester LGBT Tournament

Tue 9 Jun 2015

Six teams made the trip to Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury, Manchester on a sunny but windy Saturday 6 June to battle for the trophy at the Manchester LGBT Charity Softball Tournament, organised by Pride Sport and BaseballSoftballUK.

The tournament was the first of its kind in the North West and the chosen charity was Educate & Celebrate, dedicated to “making all schools and workplaces LGBT+Friendly”.

Because the event was set up as a recreational competition for beginners, all teams brought a few new players, including some players who had never touched a softball before.
 

Travellers

The London Raiders was the team that travelled furthest, and their reward was to take home the winner’s trophy after an excellent day’s play.  But the Raiders were not the only out-of-town team: the runner-up was the Sabres from Liverpool and the Roundhay Rookies from Leeds took third place.

The table was completed by the Bombers from East Manchester, who finished fourth; the L Fest team from Shropshire, a women-only team that made it to fifth; and finally the host team Pride Sports, in sixth place.

All the teams joined together for a picnic at lunch time, with a coconut shy, a target throw and a tombola to entertain the softballers in exchange for their charity funds.
 

Reactions

Pride Sports Director Lou Englefield said: “Everyone had a great time playing softball.  We had many people who had never touched a softball before and they had a ‘ball’.”

After the event, Lou tweeted: With awesome support of @BSUK @LuisBSUK & @CoachLinni we have raised £760 for @EducateCelebrate at our #softball event.

Elly Barnes, CEO and Founder of Educate & Celebrate, said: “We are really pleased to have been chosen as the charity for this event.  Not only did the people playing have so much fun but the sum raised will help us achieve big things in the schools we are working in.” 

One of the tweets from Educate & Celebrate read: @LouEnglefield @bsuk @LuisBSUK @CoachLinni THANK YOU!  You've funded #LGBTinclusive books ensuring ALL kids are represented #LGBTlivesmatter.

Luis Arrevillagas, North West Regional Development Manager for BaseballSoftballUK, said: “We are dedicating a lot of time to engage with the LGBT community because I believe softball has something really special to offer to the community.  I have been working very closely with Lou Englefield to learn as much as I can so the LGBT community can access our sport and the benefits that come from playing softball.  The networking, the social aspect, how easy it is to learn and how enjoyable it can be are only a few of the positives of this partnership.  I am really proud to have been able to help such an important charity today and at the same time involve more people in our fantastic sport.”
 

Next year

BaseballSoftballUK is looking to make this a yearly event and will encourage teams to show their interest as soon as possible, as the planning for 2016 has already started. 

Interested teams should contact Luis Arrevillagas on: LA@bsuk.com.

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