Janet Roundell is a Sport & Play Development Officer at Burnley Leisure and in 2012 was asked to lead on a new initiative with Rounders England aimed at increasing Rounders participation in Burnley, Lancashire. Janet inspires hundreds of people to get involved and stay involved in Rounders! We caught up with Janet… read on to find out who inspires her and how Rounders is doing in Burnley.
My Rounders Inspiration (Part 2)
By Janet Roundell, Burnley
My memories of first playing Rounders are very faded now, I just know I loved it and couldn’t wait to play in inter-school matches. My teachers at primary and secondary school were the obvious people that got me hooked on playing Rounders. In adult life, my colleague Adrianne Boys reignited my passion for the sport; she was the first person I turned to when I was asked to set up the Getin2…Rounders project. Sadly, Adrianne passed away in 2015 but we are determined to keep her memory alive by holding our annual Adie Boys memorial cup competition. We hold this competition each year before our summer league starts and we always have a team called Adie’s all-stars that take part.
I used to play Rounders at primary school and absolutely loved the sport. A deep fielder with a decent throw and not bad with the bat! I continued to play in the first couple of years of secondary school but Rounders was replaced with hockey and netball in my final three years of school. I didn’t play Rounders for quite a while after leaving school but when I secured a job working in a children’s play centre, Rounders came back into my life as part of the holiday programmes we delivered in local communities. After leaving the community play centre I became more office based and that was the end of my Rounders experience, until I was asked to take a lead on the Getin2…Rounders project. As soon as I was asked I came out with those familiar words (I used to love playing Rounders at school) and jumped at the chance. If I had a £1 for every time I have heard that phrase repeated by the hundreds of women that have become part of the project I would be booking a very expensive holiday next year.
As an organiser, it was quite overwhelming how the women in Burnley took to the game and came back with friends week in and week out. I knew we had started something that had the potential to be big and make an impact on the women attending. Through the project, I have met lots of women that inspire me. Nicola Hedge is like my right arm, she goes above and beyond for the project, her passion and enthusiasm for the sport has made the project easier to manage. She plays, umpires, coaches and collects all the stats for the project, a lot of this is done in her own time, she tutors for Rounders England and is now an international umpire. She literally cannot get enough of the sport!
We have players in our league that inspire me. Some are fit, healthy, very sporty and competitive and some have not played in over 30 years, turn up week in and week out, always play with a smile on their face, rarely win but always love it. I think the sport is so embracing that it can cater for the competitive ones as well as the ones that just want to get out of the house and have a laugh with their friends and enjoy their evening playing Rounders.
It’s very important to have inspirational people within the Rounders community. Like most things, having someone who is passionate about what they do can be infectious to the people they are trying to engage with. Their passion for the sport makes you want to give it a go, Rounders is a sport most people can play. Someone who is there to answer questions, explain the rules, help them improve, get them involved, help them connect with other like-minded people. It’s important that Rounders have these people, they spread the word and enthuse their audience. The more upbeat you deliver, the more engaged the people will be.