Oliver Howley is striking out quite a reputation for himself in the world of sotfball.
The 16-year-old’s introduction to softball was at the Get Active festival run by Chichester District Council at Oaklands Park every summer for the public to go and try out different sports.
It was at here that he met Chichester Falcons coach David Morris and he joined Chichester Falcons as a junior player in the summer of 2015, just after his 14th birthday.
In spring 2016, he was asked if he wanted to play in the Great Britain Fastpitch League at Farnham Park baseball and softball complex in Slough, the home of BSUK (Baseball Softball UK).
He was drafted into the Meteors team and at 15 stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the best softball players in the UK. He rose to the occasion with great aplomb coming away with three hits and a walk having played centre-field.
In his second ‘at bat’ he got his first RBI (run batted in) for the team’s first run of the season. His captain alerted the GB under-19 coach and at the end of the season he was invited for weekend trials for the GB U19 squad in Nottingham, after which he was invited to join the squad.
This has meant he has been doing a lot of travelling to attend regular GB squad training sessions in Coventry and Nottingham, GB Softball Academy sessions in Slough as well as playing in the GBFL in Slough.
Falcons coach David Morris said: “Oliver works very hard at practice with us and is a great role model for the rest of our junior team. “With his skills at a young age, he is naturally attracting interest from GB Softball – we look forward to supporting him.”
The Falcons have been true to their word and have been a great support. Howley is now starting to play for the senior team.
In March 2017, he played in a pre-season mixed tournament in Paris where he was voted most valuable player by his team-mates.
He is just coming to the end of his second GBFL season which has been just as successful as the first and he has been rewarded by being selected for the European under-19 championships in Prague in July.
Anyone who is interested in sponsoring or funding Oliver should visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/oliver-howley or send email to email@example.com for details.
Chichester Falcons’ junior fastpitch team are up and running with 20 boys and girls aged 11 to 16 working hard on their game in Oaklands Park every Thursday.
They are looking forward to the second annual junior fastpitch tournament in August following the success of last year’s event.
The tournament is open to any junior player from the UK aged 13 to 16, and will include coaching and games supervised by both Falcons and GB coaching staff.
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