We have a Gold Medal winner in our midst!

Our very own Mike Ashley joined Team GB this July to head to Pardubice in the Czech Republic to compete in the European Softball Championships.

Team GB entered the competition as the ruling power in European slow-pitch softball, they were the favourites and reigning champions having won an incredible eight European Championships in a row.

Access Point mike team

Team GB Begin The Tournament

Softball is a similar sport to baseball but with a larger ball, 12cm rather than the more familiar 9cm ball, and this is thrown with an under arm pitch.

 

What does the tournament involve?

 

As the title holders we automatically qualified for the finals, but the other teams had to compete to qualify in advance.  There are 6 teams in the finals, Ireland, Germany, Serbia, Slovenia, Czech Republic & team GB.

There is a double round robin where you play all teams twice in a league, the top four teams them compete in semi finals, and team GB played Slovenia in the final, 13-7. There are seven innings in the game, but as team GB were already winning going into the final innings they were declared the winners with an innings in hand.

Access Point mike team 5

Team Spirit Was High

Mike would describe the experience simply as "wow"! It was hard work but with a wonderful reward.  The team were tight, closely bonded and the team spirit was superb and this was reflected in our performance.

There were no major issues and despite much of the support in the final being directed at the Slovenians, the team won the competition with a clean sweep. We considered the balls to be poor but the team were experienced enough to adapt their technique and overcome.

Access Point mike team Celebration

Celebrations For Team GB