by Baseball Softball UK, www.baseballsoftballuk.com
BSUK’s new High Performance Academy for youth baseball players was launched on Saturday, 11 January at the Holiday Inn in Milton Keynes, with invited players and parents sharing an orientation day. Intensive practice sessions in the Horsham/Brighton area will follow until mid-April.
The High Performance Academy (HPA), which will be run during the off-season over the next four years for baseball and female fastpitch softball, is part of a new Talent Development Programme funded by Sport England.
The HPA has been designed so that our very best young athletes in both formats can receive the sport-specific skill development, strength and conditioning work and lifestyle management support needed to prepare them for life and competition as an elite athlete in GB teams.
The High Performance Academy is separate from GB training and also from the Academy. Its goal is to develop athletes who can not only play for GB teams, but make the kind of impact that will help GB to win European and world competitions.
A separate launch date and sessions for the Softball High Performance Academy will be announced shortly.
BSUK National Development Manager Will Lintern, who is responsible for the High Performance Academy, said: “The funding that we have received from Sport England represents what is probably the most exciting thing to happen to baseball and softball from a performance perspective in the last 10 years. For the first time we will be able to provide contact and coaching support to our very best athletes to help them move along the English Talent Pathway so they can perform on the international stage. This is a tremendous opportunity that I wish had been available to me when I was their age.
“I am confident that the work and efforts being put into the talent programme by BSUK,” Will added, “in combination with our growth and development projects, will significantly move baseball and softball forward over this next Whole Sport Plan cycle.”