Nine teams battle for LGBT Tournament trophy in Manchester

Mon 13 May 2019

The sun shone in Manchester on Saturday 11 May as BaseballSoftballUK hosted the fifth annual LGBT Charity Softball Tournament at Parrs Wood School in Didsbury.

Nine teams competed for the chance to take home the coveted first-place trophy, as colourful bunting and pride flags illuminated the sidelines and players got into the spirit, donning rainbow face paint and accessories.

Fundraising

The atmosphere, as has become customary for this tournament, was carnival-like, with a coconut shy where competitors could attempt to outdo teammates with their throwing accuracy while raising money for charity.  Pride Youth Games will receive the £120+ raised by the coconut shy and a raffle, which will go towards funding a sporting event for LGBTQ+ young people.

Angharad Englefield Nelson, a representative from Pride Sports who came to the presentations said, “Glorious sunshine and a fab day at the LGBT Charity Softball Tournament.  A massive thank you to everyone who came out and helped raise money for the Pride Youth Games!”

Carl Austin-Behan, the former Lord Mayor of Manchester who was appointed as Greater Manchester’s first LGBT Advisor in August 2018, was a special guest and handed out prizes to the winners (see below).  Carl said, “It was great to see all the teams in action and such a great day for the teams involved.  Thank you to BaseballSoftballUK and Pride Sports for inviting me along.  It was a pleasure – and maybe I will pop along for a game in the near future!”

The tournament

The nine teams that entered the tournament began with a group round-robins, then split into different groups to complete two more games.  Based on results from their four round-robin games, teams were then placed in Gold, Silver and Bronze groups.

The first team in each group qualified for the group final, while the second and third-placed teams played a semi-final to determine the other finalist.

In the Bronze group, Chester Drawers (who came together specifically to enter the LGBT tournament in 2017) beat the Manchester rookie team Stingers by 15-5, earning a spot in the final.  However, it was last year’s rookie team Base Invaders who took the Bronze prize home for the second year running.

In the Silver group, Tigers took on Bombers in the semi-final, and it was Bombers who clawed their way to the final.

The Silver final was a tense affair, with The Team only taking the lead from Bombers in the bottom of the final inning to snatch the Silver prize.

In the Gold bracket, the University of Manchester Maelstrom took on Titans in the semi-final and won by 11-4 to earn a place in the final.  There, they dominated top seed Humpin’ Camels for a 9-3 victory, a euphoric way to finish the day for the university students.

Comments

Linni Mitchell, BaseballSoftballUK’s North West Coach, said, “Thanks to everyone who came down to the LGBT Tournament, and a big thanks to the sun for coming out especially for the occasion.  Thanks to everyone who had a go at the raffle and coconut shy, because lots of money was raised for the Pride Youth Games, which really is a great cause.  And a special thanks to our players and umpires who continue to be supportive of this tournament and the LGBT community.”

BSUK North West Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas said, “We love organising this fun event every year, working with Pride Sports and the LGBT community.  The players really get into the spirit and love to dress for the occasion.  It’s one of my favourite tournaments of the year and all in aid of a great cause.

“Thank you also to our special guests, Carl Austin-Behan and Angharad Englefield Nelson from Pride Sports -- your support for our tournament is incredible!”

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