Grovehill Ballpark is the home of the two Division One teams, the Herts Falcons and the Herts Hawks, but last Saturday it became the home of the next generation of Hertfordshire baseball players.
Boys and girls aged between 7 and 12 from around Hertfordshire and the surrounding regions joined the first ever Baseball Little League Summer Camp organised by Hertfordshire Baseball Club with the support of BaseballSoftballUK, the development agency for baseball and softball in the United Kingdom which is funded by Sports England, the agency that delivers the Government's sporting objectives.
Eleven coaches from the club and BSUK introduced the kids to the main aspects of the game: batting, throwing, catching, fielding, base running etc. Halfway-through the day players, parents and coaches gathered for an enjoyable picnic together while watching a Home Run hitting display by current Herts Falcons Home Run leader, Andy Cornish.
After the picnic it was gametime! The players were divided into four teams, the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Mets and the Blue Jays and played two games on two separate diamonds. Every youngster who took part received baseball cards of current baseball stars. Throughout the day the players also had the chance to enjoy the MLB Roadshow which came to Hertfordshire to support the event. It included various fun baseball challenges including a pitching tunnel with a radar gun to measure the speed at which the kids were pitching.
The response from the children and their parents was tremendous and the feedback after the event indicates that the kids are already looking forward to next Saturday’s Baseball Camp.
It was very touching that some parents even approached members of the club with an offer to help not only during the Summer Camps but also volunteered to assist in promoting and spreading the news of this Youth baseball programme to help attract as many children as possible in order to achieve the target of creating 4 brand new teams which will take part in the Hertfordshire Baseball Little League planned for 2008.
The next Summer Camp is next Saturday and every Saturday after that until 1 September.
Hertfordshire Falcons Baseball Club wishes to thank BSUK (www.baseballsoftballuk.com), the MLB Roadshow, baseball supplier Forelle (www.forelle.com), Dacorum Council, the Ambulance and Police Departments as well as all of the club volunteers.