Active-In Softball Development Days bring students to Farnham Park

Mon 28 May 2018

BaseballSoftballUK and Active-In, an organisation that provides community programmes to get more people active, have combined to run two successful Softball Development Days for secondary school students at Farnham Park.

The Softball Development Days took place on 24 April and 8 May, and involved 108 students in total, while the instructors were made up of GB Softball National Team coaches and players.

Day 1

On 24 April, 48 Year 7 and Year 8 students from Princes Risborough School and Dr Challoner’s High School took part in a day that consisted of four skill stations in the morning (throwing, fielding, hitting and baserunning), followed by game play in the afternoon.

GB Slowpitch Team player Tash Humphris, who is a Sports Development Service Manager for Active-In, organised the schools and the schedule, while BaseballSoftballUK Fastpitch Development Manager Johanna Malisani, a licensed BSUK Level 3 Coach, brought in four additional coaches to teach the students softball skills and rules. 

Chris Yoxall, a GB Slowpitch player and former GB Under-19 Men’s Fastpitch Head Coach, ran the hitting station, while Dan Patterson, a BSUK Level 2 coach, GB Men’s Slowpitch Team player and former GB Under-19 Men’s Fastpitch Team player, taught fielding skills.

Keith Jameson, a BSUK Level 2 coach, taught throwing skills, and Jo Malisani, who is also Head Coach for the GB Under-22 and Under-16 Women’s Teams, introduced the students to baserunning skills and tactics.

Jo, Dan and Keith then oversaw and facilitated game play in the afternoon, which resulted in well-contested games among four teams randomly selected at the start of the day, with some amazing defensive and offensive skills on display.

Day 2

The second Softball Development Day took place on 8 May, this time with 60 Year 7 and Year 8 students from Sir William Borlase School and Dr Challoner’s High School.

The same four skill stations were run in the morning followed by games in the afternoon, and in addition to Jo Malisani, Chris Yoxall and Keith Jameson, other coaches included GB Under-22 Women’s Team player Holly Newell and GB Men’s Fastpitch Team player Trent Nash, who taught fielding skills; and GB Under-22 player and Under-16 Assistant Coach Sian Wigington, who worked on baserunning with the students.

Once again, the afternoon games were close and well-played, with a lot of skills on display, and the day also gave Jo Malisani the opportunity to mentor and support Holly, Sian and Trent as part of their own coaching development.

Reactions

Tash Humphris said, “The two days were a great success, and seeing so many local students down at Farnham Park having fun and learning a new sport was fantastic.  Thanks to BSUK and all our brilliant coaches for making these days possible.”

Patrick Knock, BasebalSoftballUK’s South East Development Manager, said: "I'm really pleased that we've been able to work with Tash and Active-In to run these Softball Days for the third year running and provide the chance for so many school students to play at our national baseball and softball complex at Farnham Park.  We run the event to encourage as many local kids and teenagers as possible to try the sport, have fun, and then hopefully come along to our Junior Softball Sessions every Thursday evening at Farnham Park."

Johanna Malisani added: “We had two terrific days, with over 100 athletes over those two days coming down to our national facility, the Farnham Park Baseball and Softball Complex, to give our sport a go!  A big thank you to the coaches who ensured the days were fun and successful events for these local students!  And a big thank you to the PE teachers who brought their students down for the day and to Active-In for organising the event!”

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