Herts add 12th Board member

As a big Kansas City Royals fan Mike Wakelam made sure he was able to get to Kansas for the MLB All Star game last year.

Mike Wakelam has been appointed to the Board of Herts Baseball Club. He will take the position of Head of U11 Department.

Over the last several years Wakelam has been instrumental in creating the right structure in place for the Herts U11 teams along with the other U11 coaches. The U11 section is now in a very strong position to deliver further growth. On the back of the success of the U11s, the club is currently considering launching a separate U8 section which is another step towards the long-term goal of establishing a separate section for every age.

Mike Wakelam was born in Australia. His baseball background goes back a long way, from playing tee-ball as a 7-year-old in Melbourne at the well known Upwey Ferntree Gully Baseball Club. As a teenager he played for various teams and travelled to the USA as a 15-year-old to progress his career at the Mickey Owens Baseball School in Springfield, Missouri. 2 years later he returned to the USA on an exchange program to play high school baseball, where he finished the season with an All-Conference honourable mention. A knee injury meant that his playing days were limited. However, this didn’t deter him from continuing his involvement in baseball in a coaching capacity. He has been coaching little league teams since the age of 16. When he was 19 he coached the Under-16 All-Star team at Upwey Ferntree Gully baseball club, and went on to coach several players privately, two of whom travelled to the US and played and trained at the Playball Baseball Academy in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

In 2009 Mike Wakelam happened to be at the Northwick Park baseball centre when Herts were running an exhibition event there and decided to join Herts Baseball Club. He went on to play for the Herts Eagles in the AAA League and also for the Falcons in the NBL establishing himself as one of the most feared sluggers. His career batting average in the NBL stands at an impressive .667. His persistent knee problems have kept him out of the game since 2010 but he has stayed involved in baseball contributing to the success of the Herts Baseball youth programme.

In the beginning of 2010 he was a candidate for the Coaches Commissioner role on the Board of the British Baseball Federation. He generously withdrew his candidacy to make way for Leicester’s Mark Meredith to run for that office. This has been a blessing for Herts as it has allowed him to stay focused on the club and contribute to its success.

This announcement comes soon after the Board appointment of Cris Hiche as the Head of U17 Department and is part of the club’s long-term objective to increase the Board’s capacity, effectiveness and to be a more proportionate representation of the club’s different member categories. In 2012 the club had four adult and four youth teams, however the Board featured four adult team Board positions and only one Board position linked to the youth teams. The Board now has three positions directly linked to the youth programme and the club is considering additional candidates to head the other age groups in the youth programme and co-opt them to the Board.

The number of members on the Herts Baseball Executive Board is now 12, each bringing expertise and experience in the fields of business, finance, sport, law, media, IT, retailing, event management, construction and others.

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