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Dec '09 22

GB Softball National Team wins British Airways Contest

by BaseballSoftballUK, www.baseballsoftballuk.com


Monday, December 21 — Thanks to help from friends, relatives and people from the British and international softball and baseball communities, the GB Women’s Fastpitch Team has won the British Airways “Great Britons” contest — and the prize is 16 desperately-needed free flights to the ISF World Championships next summer.

The GB Team led the voting from start to finish against seven other candidates, including other sports teams, artists and inventors, and the ability to mobilise votes throughout the softball world was probably the determining factor.

The application to the contest was written and submitted on behalf of the GB Women’s Team by first base player Morgan Parkerson.

Waiting for the ISF

Winning this contest is a big step towards the GB Women’s Team being able to take up its place at the World Championships next summer. And the team received a further boost on December 19 with news that a £10,000 corporate sponsorship has been offered by a firm in the Midlands.

Now the team is waiting for the ISF to announce when and where the World Championships will be held so the BA flights can be matched to a destination.

An announcement from the ISF is expected this week.

Happy Christmas

The GB Women’s Fastpitch Team earned its place in the 2010 World Championships by finishing second in European Championships in Valencia last summer, the team’s highest-ever European placing.

But the team no longer receives public funding because softball is not an Olympic sport, and the cost of competing in the World Championships and preparing for them properly is beyond what the players can afford.

So the news of corporate sponsorship and the British Airways contest triumph will mean a happy Christmas for the team and staff, even though there is still more money to be raised.

The team is likely to need between £50,000 and £60,000 in total to prepare for and attend the World Championships.

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