Hello – my name is Artie. I’m 25 years old, and I’m a baseball catcher, recently selected for the preliminary roster of the GB women’s national team.
The team is going to be competing in the European Championships of women’s baseball for the first time in August 2022. While the team is working to try to secure funding for the Championship, participation currently requires a financial commitment from players themselves. I’m going to run 40km between now and then to raise enough money to participate in the tournament – and to help take women’s baseball in the UK to the next level.
My baseball story
I started playing baseball with the Bournemouth Bears in March 2021. Playing with the Bears helped me to cope with the difficulties I was facing at the time – problems left by the pandemic. When I was sprinting to first base, or trying to field a groundball off our lumpy field, I was completely present, not worrying about finding a permanent job or somewhere to live.
As I started getting back on my feet in my personal circumstances, baseball remained an incredible joy in my life. It’s impossible not to get swept up in the grit and enthusiasm of playing with the Bears.
In August 2021, I had the good luck to play a game in the women’s baseball league with the Sheffield Bruins, and I heard about the GB women’s national team for the first time. I tried out for the team, thinking that even attending a tryout with women who play such a high caliber of baseball would be a huge opportunity.
I was ecstatic and shocked when I was selected for the Preliminary Tournament Roster, looking ahead to the 2022 European Championships of Women’s Baseball. This is the first year that the GB Women’s National Baseball team has formed, and the opportunity to be amongst the first players to represent GB in European women’s baseball means so much to me. Unfortunately, the cost of competing, between £1,400 and £1,500, is currently out of reach for me.
Whether I get selected for the Final Tournament Roster, or not, I’m giving baseball everything I have this summer. I’m going to run 5k every week in June and July to raise money for the GB team.
What will the money be used for?
The estimated cost of playing in the Championships is £1,400 to £1,500 per player, which is to cover flights, accommodation and food for the tournament, and gear and apparel.
I’m hoping to raise half this amount - £700 - to put towards the cost of the tournament. The additional £150 will go towards helping with the cost of playing as part of the Preliminary Tournament Roster, which so far has included two overnight trips to Sheffield and £40 in a new training uniform.
Even if I don’t make the final tournament roster, I know I’ll be a more competitive and nuanced player as a result of this experience. But if I do make the team, I’m going to need help to make playing at the Championships financially possible.
If I’m not selected for the Final Tournament Roster, the money will be donated to the GB women’s national team to help reduce the financial barrier for other players to compete at this highest level.