With four teams competing, the all-day event at Chichester University saw players from the city and beyond enjoy a day of
softball, music, food and sunshine.
Competing were the Flames, led by Ben Sawkins, representing West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service; Chichester College Crushers, headed up by Andy Burgess; Lakeside Lions from Hampshire, captained by Carl Simmonds; and Aldingbourne on the Edge, a composite charity team led by Matt Swanson and Ben Wilkes.
The day began with coaching from the Falcons’ James Wheeler, who got the rookie softballers up to speed.
At 11am the umpires emphatically yelled ‘play ball’ and the matches got under way. Spectators and families were treated to a
fantastic display of softball, played with good sporting spirit and humour.
Several Falcons were on hand to help with the rulebook and techniques.
A lunch break saw a selection of players swing the bat in a home run derby to determine who could hit a softball the farthest. Matt Cordy and Amanda Clay picked up the respective first prizes.
The final tournament positions were decided by two final play-offs. The Flames and Aldingbourne on the Edge battled it out for third and fourth place, while The Lions and Crushers locked horns for the tournament title.
Lakeside Lions took the top spot with a 3-2 victory over the Crushers, with the Flames winning their tie 9-6 to come third.
A raffle and presentations followed, where UK head of Children on the Edge Ben Wilkes thanked the teams and organisers for their support, adding: “We can’t wait to get back out on the pitch next year!”
James Clarke from the Falcons revealed the tournament had raised £500, prompting a huge cheer. The money will go straight to helping restore a full childhood for some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
Falcons captain David Morris said: “This was a monumental day for our club, and we are delighted to have helped a good local charity by getting people outside playing softball together.
“To look out on the field and see over 50 people learning the game, working as a team and having fun together made all the hard work and planning worthwhile.
Organisers thanked everyone who had donated time and equipment to get the event on.
Anyone interested in trying softball should visit www.chichesterfalcons.com or email [email protected]
Children on the Edge is a Chichester-based, international children’s charity which exists to bring forgotten children ‘from the edge to the centre’.