Thursday, March 08, 2012 |11:01 |Age: 1 yrs
BSUK receives grant from Baseball Tomorrow Fund
BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK), the development agency for baseball and softball in the United Kingdom, announced today that it has recently been awarded a grant of $160,000 (£100,000) from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), administered by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players' Association. The grant, along with funding from Sport England, will allow BSUK to complete the first phase of its development plans at Farnham Park, Buckinghamshire to construct two dedicated 300'-sized fields for baseball/softball and one 400' baseball field.
Farnham Park will be the first three-diamond facility in the UK, with fully-fenced fields, dirt infields, dugouts, backstops and warning tracks. The development at Farnham Park fulfils a number of aims set by BSUK's facility strategy, including the establishment of a dedicated regional baseball facility and centre for fastpitch softball in the South East of England. The facility will host local, regional and national tournaments and training year-round.
Farnham Park is located in Farnham Royal, just north of Slough, between the M4 and M40 motorways. The site is located on 88 acres of land that includes a children's playground, clubhouse facilities, football, cricket and rugby pitches. South Bucks District Council manages the Farnham Park fields as trustees.
“'The grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund is fantastic news for baseball and softball in the UK,” said John Boyd, Joint CEO and Head of Development. “We are now in a position to build a home for our sport, a complex of fields that can be used across all our levels and formats of play. The entire community is extremely grateful to the Baseball Tomorrow Fund for responding to the vision of the Farnham Park facility."
Boyd added, "Farnham Park is a great location for our playing community, reachable by over 80% of the people who currently play the sport in under an hour. It will be an attractive location for new players who come from adjacent large towns like Slough and Reading. It is conveniently placed for both new development programmes and for the existing playing population. With Heathrow Airport only 20 minutes away, the opportunity to host international tournaments and have our national team easily access the facility becomes a reality with this grant. Baseball and softball will have a new home and the sport's profile and recognition in the country will grow.”
BSUK has begun working with South Bucks District Council to engage youth clubs, schools and community groups in the region and the site is also expected to be a recruiting tool for the nearby Windsor and Maidenhead Softball League, the Great Britain Fastpitch Softball League and a number of local baseball clubs.
“The Baseball Tomorrow Fund appreciates the BaseballSoftballUK's commitment to youth baseball and softball in its community. We are pleased to support the continued growth of this program.” added Cathy Bradley, Executive Director or the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.
Other national baseball and softball federations to receive a BTF grant include the French Baseball Softball Federation (2008), the South African Baseball Union (2009) and the Austrian Baseball Federation (2012).
Apart from major funding for the project from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and Sport England, BaseballSoftballUK is accepting other in-kind and monetary contributions. Those interested in donating to the project should contact Brendan Cunliffe on +44 (0) 20 7453 7055.
About the Baseball Tomorrow Fund
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other selected program expenses. Since its formation by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1999, BTF has awarded approximately 600 grants totaling more than $21 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Approximately 300,000 youth players have benefited from programs and facilities supported by the fund. BTF also facilitates league-wide initiatives including the collection and distribution of new and gently used equipment to organizations in need as well as field maintenance education clinics. For more information, visit www.baseballtomorrowfund.com and follow BTF on Facebook, Twitter and MLBlogs.
About the BaseballSoftballUK Ltd (BSUK)
The BaseballSoftballUK Ltd is the development agency for baseball and softball in the United Kingdom. Since 2000, BSUK has provided services to the sports' governing bodies, the British Baseball Federation (BBF) and the British Softball Federation (BSF), with the aim of developing and increasing levels of participation, skill and achievement in UK baseball and softball. Projects delivered through BSUK's Whole Sport Plan, funded by Sport England, include regional support for youth baseball and softball development programmes, support for workplace softball, coaching and coach-training, facility development and the expansion and strengthening of clubs throughout the country.
Photos of the intended site at Farnham Park, Slough can be found and downloaded online at: