Thanks to the efforts of Chichester Falcons, Sport England and BaseballSoftballUK, Chichester’s first youth softball club has been established in the city.
Softball sessions for boys and girls aged 12 to 16 will get under way at 6pm on Monday, June 9, at Oaklands Park, led by qualified Falcons coaches James Clarke and David Morris.
Softball is a variant of baseball and is similar to rounders. It is one of very few team sports where boys and girls play on the same team, and has strong teamwork and social ethics.
“We are delighted Sport England has recognised youth softball as a sport which fills a gap for children looking for something other than the more traditional sports available,” said Morris.
“The exciting nature of the game and the distinctive equipment makes softball very attractive to young people who want to play a sport which is rapidly becoming popular, and make friends at the same time”.
Thanks to lottery funding from Sport England, the Falcons are able to run an initial eight practice sessions completely free of charge for participants. All necessary equipment and coaching is provided, with a view to establishing a long-standing youth fastpitch softball system in the city and beyond.
In the meantime the Falcons have been invited to run taster sessions at local secondary schools to give pupils a chance to try out their softball skills before the club sessions starting in June.
For many youngsters this will be their first exposure to softball and the Falcons plan to make it a positive experience with fast-paced and fun practice drills and games.
In the long-term, players can look forward to taking part in national tournaments, the possibility of a new Sussex Softball League to compete in, or even aspire to progress into the GB softball team, playing worldwide at under-13, 16, 19 and adult levels.
Initially however, the Falcons aim to get children learning, playing and enjoying softball together, whilst building a strong foundation for the future of the sport in Chichester.
Any interested would-be softballers’ parents should contact the Falcons on firstname.lastname@example.org to register their interest, or visit www.youthsoftball.co.uk