BaseballSoftballUK is hoping to use this year's Major League Baseball (MLB) London Series to give the sport a push and increase its popularity across the country.
The development agency for baseball and softball will help organise events and activities designed to create a lasting legacy from the two games in June, the first MLB regular season matches ever to be held in Europe.
Activities will run from late May through to September, using the games between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox – to be played at London Stadium on 29 and 30 June – as a centrepiece.
Many of the legacy events around the Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 will take place at the Farnham Park Baseball and Softball Complex near Slough, built by BaseballSoftballUK and opened in 2013 as the UK’s only purpose-built complex for the two sports.
Other events will take place at the Community Track next to London Stadium.
According to BaseballSoftballUK CEO John Boyd, the legacy events will be designed to increase awareness of baseball and softball, encourage participation in the two sports – especially by children and young people – and enhance fan engagement.
“MLB coming to London is a substantial opportunity for our sports," Boyd said.
"We are thrilled that MLB has chosen this country to host the games and excited about the interest generated by the Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 and associated activities.
"Together, they should turbocharge interest in the sports among fans and potential new players alike.”
One of the first London Series legacy events will be MLB’s Coach Development Programme, scheduled for the weekend of 25-26 May at Farnham Park and designed to upskill British baseball and softball coaches.
Around 30 UK-based coaches, many of whom coach in BaseballSoftballUK’s Academy and High Performance Academy programmes, are expected to attend, and will receive expert instruction delivered by MLB’s European Development Team.
For more information and a full schedule of the legacy events, click here for the BaseballSoftballUK website.
• To read a full-length article on BaseballSoftballUK's plans to double participation in the sport, published in 2016, click here for Sports Management issue 124.