Kate has been on a mission to discover what the neighbouring Softball Clubs are up to in this winter.
Her first reconnaissance took her to Bristol where she witnessed the Bristol Softball Association’s first Indoor Tournament for 2011. The final was extremely fast paced and the teams were obviously very experienced. They had an excellent sports hall, which had a convenient viewing area, and the atmosphere was electric. Everyone was extremely friendly and open to a Bobcat straying on their territory. After the tournament, the BSA convened in the local pub and very kindly asked Kate to join them to discuss tactics, club management and marketing. They offered the Bobcats support in the coming season and would love to meet more regularly for friendly games/tournaments.
Kate’s next mission was to travel to Leicester to attend the Softball Academy with the Leicester Royals and Blue Sox. On her first visit the Academy was still in its infancy and the atmosphere was quite restrained. The coaches were welcoming to our lone Bobcat, but there was a bit of reservation that was not present with the BSA. In terms of the Hall, it was double the size of the BSA hall, but only half of it was available so there was the same amount of usable space.
At the end of November, Kate returned to the Leicester Softball Academy with Chris and Pete and what a transformation! Everyone was extremely friendly and there were no reservations. The training session was excellent – with lots of informative and useful tips on all aspects of the game. The atmosphere had also lightened and there was friendly banter across the hall. The new players had all progressed well and had integrated well with the other players. Overall it was a productive, efficient and enjoyable session. The only 'fly' in the ointment was Pete’s uncontrollable arm, which launched a ball from second to first with such velocity it clipped the first baseman’s glove and almost broke his nose and eye socket. Needless to say Pete will not be employed on future diplomatic missions J
These missions have enabled the Bobcats to gain some useful information and experience before their indoor sessions in January. For example it flagged up how we should schedule our sessions -we were originally just going to spend the hour playing a game, but if we have new players we should have some induction session either running parallel to or in conjunction with the game. It also enabled the Bobcats to get to know their neighbours outside of competitive tournaments and build relations between our teams. Kate greatly enjoyed meeting the BSA and the Leicester Royals and Blue Sox and is very grateful for their time and affability. The Bobcats can’t wait to develop these new friendships in the 2012 season.