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BaseballSoftballUK CEO hails inclusive power of baseball

BaseballSoftballUK CEO hails inclusive power of baseball

Boyd was introduced to baseball as a child by his friend Kerry, who lived down the road from him in his home country of South Africa.

However, having been born black during Apartheid, Kerry was not allowed to play with Boyd at their local club.

After leaving South Africa a year later to escape the system, Boyd was taken to see the Chicago Cubs play while visiting his sister, rekindling his love for the sport.

Baseball is a hidden secret in the UK, followed by enthusiastic night owls and weekend warriors, and played by a small but resolute community and that is something BaseballSoftballUK are looking to change.

Hosting six MLB regular season games in the UK, across four years provides a unique opportunity to share the magic of baseball, catapult the sport’s popularity and exponentially increase the number of baseball and softball players throughout the country.

BaseballSoftballUK aims to increase participation by making the sports even more inclusive, improving the overall playing experience, and driving elite performance of the national squads by working with and through National Governing Bodies the British Softball Federation and the British Baseball Federation.

And Boyd is passionate about showing the world how welcoming and accessible baseball and softball can be.

He said: “I was born in Apartheid South Africa, and I had a friend who was black who lived down the road, he brought a stick with a tape handle around the end into the garden one day and said, ‘We are going to play baseball’.

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“As soon as we started playing, I fell in love with the sport, it was just magical for me.

“I found a local club to go to and went to Kerry and asked if he wanted to come join the local club with me.

“He said he did not think it was a good idea, I talked to my mother, and she explained Apartheid to me for the first time and the difficulties that the country was facing.

“I remember feeling violently angry then at the country and the unjust system, we left South Africa a year later to get away from that system.  

“The beauty of baseball and softball is that they are really easy games for people to play.

“Everyone falls in love with it in the same way that plays it, and it is inclusive for all body sizes, ages, athletic abilities, boys, girls, everyone.”

Having inspired Boyd to fall back in love with the sport all those years ago, the Cubs will now go head-to-head with historic rivals the Cardinals during an action-packed weekend at London Stadium, complete with unmissable entertainment and a full ballpark experience.

To celebrate the MLB London Series and maintain its legacy for years to come, MLB, the Cubs and the Cardinals have come together to invest in the legacy gift of a brand-new baseball square to help develop East London’s next generation of sporting stars.

But that is just one of many exciting things happening across the country this week to celebrate the return of the MLB London Series.

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Boyd added: “The are so many things going on across London and across the country as part of the MLB London Series.

“To have a school able to connect to the London Stadium just a couple of miles away and to have a legacy facility here will mean so much to the local community, the students, the school and the whole trust around it.

“It is one of the examples of how we can bring baseball into this country so that it is successful.

“People can turn up at the games, they can turn up at the various festivals, they can turn up at Trafalgar Square this weekend, they can turn up at the games they can turn up at the various festivals, London is baseball-a-fied this weekend, and it is a really special moment for British baseball.”

BaseballSoftballUK is the national development and performance agency for baseball and softball in the United Kingdom and the accountable body for safeguarding baseball and softball, and for government investment from UK Sport and Sport England into the sport – visit baseballsoftballuk.com

  • June 25, 2023