Raiders Tournament 2019 is a glittering softball success

Tue 30 Jul 2019

Sixteen teams from across the South East, including three from the Raiders Softball Club itself, joined the annual London Raiders D-grade Rec Tournament on Saturday 29 July at Farnham Park.

With both fun and development the aim, and with an eye on fundraising too, teams played in fancy dress to compete to win one of the four trophies on offer.

Raiders chose to support the charity Opening Doors London, which offers services for older LGBT+ people, and raised over £500.

Beating the weather

Despite heavy rainfall the previous day and night, pitch inspections by the Farnham Park staff confirmed playable diamonds, and the tournament got under way on time.

Once play started, the tournament team got to work setting up the popular coconut shy and ‘play your cards right’ stations at the Home Plate Clubhouse, which attracted players from both the Raiders Tournament and NSL1 teams who were playing their own tournament at the park.

There was also a visit from local BBC Radio Berkshire, which chose the tournament as an early stop on their Saturday morning treasure hunt.

Thanks to a BSF Development Grant towards coaching and volunteer expenses, players were able to access batting and pitching clinics during the day in exchange for a contribution to the fundraising, and six teams had the support of a senior player to act as a mentor for the day.

The actual softball bit

Teams progressed through a round-robin and then into Glitter, Gold, Silver or Bronze trophy semi-finals.

This was followed by nail-biting finals for the big prizes, before heading into a prize-giving ceremony that also recognised excellent plays, spirit and costumes from the day.

The winning teams were:

Glitter:  Beavers (shown below and winning the battle of the tropical shirts against Banditos)

Gold:  Thames Valley
Silver:  Burderop Bombers
Bronze:  Pork and Pitchers

Super Mario Bros costumes made the most impact on the judges and so Meteors Green (shown below) won the costume competition, despite excellent efforts from Thames Valley and the three Raiders teams -- Marvels, Arcade Fire and Basewatch.

MVP awards went to Jacques from Raiders Marvels and Ray from Solent Oddballs.

Spirit awards, nominated by the umpires, were presented to Sophie from Reading and Monique from Beavers.

Kat Macann, Tournament Co-ordinator said, “After a year off last year, we wanted to bring back the Raiders Tournament and make it bigger than ever and give the newest players in our sport a great day of softball.  The motto for the day was ‘Fun, fair and fabulous’, and with the support and creativity of a large number of volunteers I think we pulled it off!  We’ll definitely be back next year!”

Celebrations continued well into the night at the Home Plate clubhouse.

Fundraising support

You can still support the tournament’s fundraising activity for a few more days, in aid of Opening Doors London, the biggest charity providing information and support services specifically for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* people in the UK.

ODL helps the older LGBT community live full, vibrant and respected lives free from isolation, loneliness, discrimination and prejudice.

Donations can be made at:

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