Gecko Heroes prevail at second St James’s Place Charity Tournament

Sat 14 Jul 2018

The second St James’s Place Charity Softball Tournament was hosted on Sunday 8 July at Bowdon Rugby Club, alongside the company’s Family Fun Day in Altrincham, Trafford. 

In contrast to last year’s damp and drizzly day when the first St James’s Place Tournament was held, this year’s event was played in sunshine, with highs of 28 degrees.

Five teams from financial management companies competed, and the Flyin’ Lions were looking to defend the title earned at last year’s inaugural tournament, while Capstone was hoping to snatch the win after just missing out on gold in 2017.

Simplified rules were played, since for many of the players this was only their second time picking up a bat and glove.  Each game was one inning long, with each player batting once per inning.  A round-robin was played to start the day, followed by two-inning finals for first and third place.

In the end, it was newcomers Gecko Heroes who came away with the winner's trophy, with SJP Academy in second place and SJP Angels in third (pictured below in that order):


Alexa Martinez, a keen Manchester Softball League player and St James’s Place Events Coordinator, organised the family fun day to get members of local financial management companies involved in the sport she loves.

Last year’s tournament proved successful, not only in helping to raise money for charity, but by putting slowpitch softball centre stage in front of many people who didn’t know the sport existed.

Holly Smith from Capstone (above) fell in love with softball during last year’s event, and following the tournament came along to the MSL Rookie Sessions at Parrs Wood.  From there, she helped form Manchester’s newest team, Base Invaders, and has since climbed her way up the divisions, now settling with Tigers in Division 3.

Holly said, "Last year’s softball tournament was such a good day that I asked about playing regularly.  I started going to the weekly rookie sessions and now play in the league every week with my team and absolutely love it!"


Luis Arrevillagas, BaseballSoftballUK’s Regional Development Manager, said, “We love hosting corporate tournaments like these.  Not only are they great for team-building and bonding with colleagues, but they also bring softball to people’s attention, and in the past three or four years we have gained so many fantastic and talented players who tried softball for the first time at corporate events.”

BaseballSoftballUK North West Coach Linni Mitchell added, “These tournaments are great exposure for us and I love how much people get into it in such a short space of time.  Thanks to the MSL players who came along to fill in the gaps with teams who were short of players and who helped within teams, sharing their knowledge and expertise.”

Photographs by amashmedia

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