by BaseballSoftballUK, www.baseballsoftballuk.com
BaseballSoftballUK is pleased to announce details for an official Opening Day and ceremony to mark the completion and use of the UK’s first dedicated baseball and softball facility at Farnham Park, to be held at the new fields on Saturday 20 July.
The event will be open to the public and will be attended by members of the domestic and international sporting communities.
Farnham Park is the culmination of three years of work by BSUK, with funding and/or support from Sport England, Major League Baseball’s Baseball Tomorrow Fund and South Bucks District Council. The facility has a full-size international standard baseball field and three softball/youth baseball fields and will play host to domestic league and tournament play, community use and, eventually, international events.
Opening Day events
The official Opening Ceremony on 20 July will come during a busy day of baseball and softball at Farnham Park.
The British Softball Federation’s Single-Sex Slowpitch National Championships will be held at the ground over the weekend of 20-21 July, with games on both purpose-built softball fields – and on numerous other grass diamonds – taking place throughout both days.
Activity on the new baseball field on 20 July will open with local schools and youth groups taking part in a Teeball tournament before the official Opening Ceremony takes place later on in the afternoon.
At that point, play will stop on all fields to allow everyone to attend the half-hour Opening Ceremony, which will include celebrity guests, a ceremonial first pitch and the laying of a base from the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifier gifted to BaseballSoftballUK by Major League Baseball.
Following the Opening Ceremony, a baseball exhibition game will take place between the GB Lions National Development Team and a domestic All-Star side, as well as key men’s and women’s games in the softball Single-Sex National Championships.
The fusion of domestic and international baseball and softball on Opening Day will be a celebration of the sports in Britain and a glimpse of the future potential of the new facilities at Farnham Park.
As well as action on the new fields, other activities will be taking place to keep everyone entertained, including a batting cage, a pitching tunnel with a radar speed gun, merchandise tents and a full range of catering and bar facilities.
There will also be an exhibition from Play Ball 2020 promoting the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s bid for the inclusion of the sports at the 2020 Olympic Games. Following an International Olympic Committee Executive Meeting in St Petersburg, Russia in May, baseball-softball was short-listed along with squash and wrestling, with a final vote to pick one of the three scheduled at the full Congress of IOC members in Buenos Aires in September.
Watch this space
Finishing touches are being put on final preparations for the Opening Day and ceremony, and further details regarding timings, guests and other events on the day will be announced shortly.
For those planning to attend who are not familiar with the site, the address is:
Farnham Park Sports Ground
Berks SL2 3BP
Click here for a location map.