Janet Roundell is a Sport and 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 1)
By Janet Roundell, Burnley
As part of my Sport & Play Development Officer role at Burnley leisure I was asked to lead on a new initiative with Rounders England, aimed at increasing participation in the sport within Burnley. Our Burnley project started in the summer of 2013 with zero adult participation in the town. We initially focused on mums but extended our target to all women and girls aged 13+. We then progressed to delivering children’s sessions to run alongside the adult sessions and then went on to develop a workforce programme. Four years down the line we now have two indoor leagues per year with 28 (six aside teams) playing across three venues in the town. We run two outdoor leagues per year with 30 (nine a side teams) playing over 14 weeks of spring and summer each year. It is important to the long term success of the leagues that we build a rounders workforce [case study]. We have trained over 50 umpires, trained level 1 and level 2 coaches and three of our project workers and volunteers have gone on to become Rounders England Tutors.
We formed Burnley Rounders club and over the last three years have secured over £17,000 worth of Sport England funding. Most recently, players from the leagues featured in the recent Rounders England rebrand. In 2015 the league received nationwide coverage when Jo Baldwin and Team Scruples featured in the This Girl Can campaign. In the same year, individual, Devon-Jay Burnell, secured a starring role in the ‘find your flow’ Lucozade TV advert. The club went on to set a new Guinness World Record for the most participants in a Rounders match in 2016 and also won the local and county community club of the year award, making 2016 an incredible year.
The social impact that the project has had in Burnley is the most satisfying thing for me. To see yearly reminders of friendship anniversaries on Facebook, because they connected through playing Rounders, is great! We have just under 700 members on Facebook. That is down to us and we are so proud to have been behind it all! Thanks in a large part to Rounders England, Donna Vinten who managed our relationship and to my bosses at Burnley Leisure who allowed me to run with it and take it to the levels we are at today.
PART 2 COMING TOMORROW