I dabbled with the gym, but lost interest… I’ve always loved team sports playing rugby and hockey in my younger years but not for a very long time! I always wanted to get back into team sports but thought I was too unfit”.
Those were the words of Kirsty Pine, 39 year old Mum of 5 year old twins and works full time in the NHS. Now in the midst of the Autumn/Winter season, she is the proud Captain of the winning team ‘Healthy Liverpool Rounders’ of the North West NHS Games, an Activator and Umpire and now looking to become a Level 1 Coach! Talk about a woman on a mission…Read on for Kirsty’s story.
After hearing MSP (Merseyside Sports Partnership) was looking to set up a Rounders league, Kirsty thought it sounded like fun and something she could get into
I liked the idea that it suited all abilities and fitness levels”. Half joking she asked her colleagues but was surprised to find out how many were interested. Kirsty also had the support of her workplace and her encouraging Activity Champion. That was a year ago and they’re still going strong!
I became the Captain by default really as I was the one setting up the sessions and getting organised. Everyone was happy for me to do it and as I’ve captained teams in the past (albeit a long time ago) it made sense. I love being team Captain, especially when we win, but there is a bit of work involved… We realised quite early on that training outside in the local park was not feasible due to the weather, light (or lack of) and the dogs running off with our ball! We’ve now moved indoors so we can train all year round, using a school hall in the winter and the pitches in the summer. It works well and the dogs are no longer an issue! Being the Captain comes with responsibility but I like that as it gets me along to practice everyone Monday night! No excuses!!”
The Healthy Liverpool Rounders Team is made up of men and women from different NHS organisations in Liverpool and is a great way of developing team bond amongst co-workers and foster positive working relationships. With a core group of 8 regularly attending, Kirsty’s favourite position is 4th base, but the whole team gets to practice around the pitch! Over the last year, the team has welcomed 20 people to their training sessions. Kirsty said,
There’s a lot more running involved with less people which I really like as I’m trying to get fitter”.
Working alongside MSP, Kirsty agreed to send 2 players on an Activator and Umpire course. “It was a great opportunity to learn more about the games and rules…I’m still learning now!” Kirsty is now really keen to coach so she can use her skills and knowledge to improve training sessions. Through MSP Kirsty has been awarded a Rounders England bursary to achieve her Level 1 Coaching qualification.
Rounders is great for my mental health as much as my physical health. I have twin 5 year old daughters who keep me very busy and I often feel I have no time for myself. I really value the time I spend playing rounders doing something for me and switching off to the stresses and strains of work and home life.
I have been playing rounders for over a year now and I can say without fail I have enjoyed every training session. Regardless of the day I have had and the mood I am in when I arrive, I leave feeling upbeat, happy and proud for doing something positive”.
Danny Woodworth from MSP:
We are delighted that workplaces across the Liverpool City Region have set up rounders teams and are holding regular practice sessions – rounders is a fun, inclusive and nostalgic sport for people to play, and a great as a teambuilding activity for colleagues. Workplace physical activity and sport initiatives work best when you have an internal Champion encouraging people to take part, and Kirsty has done an excellent job in leading the Liverpool CCG team to glory at the North West NHS Games competition. She has also encouraged dozens of colleagues to take part in their weekly rounders sessions, and is an inspiration to encourage others to take part in physical activity whilst also juggling a busy lifestyle – well done Kirsty!”