On 29th March the Birmingham Bobcats dug out their cleats and oiled their gloves for the first outdoor training season of 2012. Expectations were high following a successful indoor winter season and it was with great excitement that the Bobcats returned to their Summer training ground – Hallfield School, Edgbaston.
The new coaching team (fronted by Head Coach Quentin Young and consisting of Sapin Patel, Meg Gallahan, Pete Burgess, Kate Page-Smith) were primed and eager to use the new training equipment purchased by the committee following meticulous research by Sapin, Operations Manager. Kate, Tournaments and Marketing Manager had been on the streets delivering posters and creating induction packs. The Club was ready!
(Flashback to March 2011). On a typical early spring evening, 10 familiar faces turned up to Hallfield School Playing Fields with gloves, bases, balls and bats. After greeting each other following a four month break they began to casually throw about some balls while talking about the possibilities that lie ahead. There was no coaching structure, no formalised committee and tired second-hand equipment, but a lot of dedication and enthusiasm.
So back to 2012, it was a beautiful Spring evening and the new coaching team were expecting a turnout of approximately ten people. The clock struck 18.15 and people started flooding on to the field. Returning players, new players, ringers, men, women, young and not so young, British, European – in fact someone from every continent. Overall there were approximately 30 people. The coaches, quickly glanced at each other and set up their emergency session plan – and what a fantastic job they did because all those players left later that evening puffed, but with huge smiles and returned the next week, and the next, and the next.