Janet Roundell – Building a Rounders workforce in Burnley

AIM

Our aim is to recruit and then train as many people to Preliminary/ Intermediate standard to enable them to umpire in our summer and winter leagues in Burnley. The more people we can recruit and train, the better chance we have of sustaining our leagues. We encourage all of the teams to identify people who would be happy to train as umpires. We then pay all umpires £10 per game in summer and £5 per game in winter so it is a nice way of earning some extra spending money that some of our umpires have used towards booking holidays etc…

Our club and leagues have a zero tolerance towards players challenging our umpires. We think this makes it easier to recruit potential new umpires because they see that all current umpires are respected and appreciated.

We have trained 3 of our club members to Level 2 coach standard and they have gone on to become Rounders England Tutors and can now deliver the rounders courses in Burnley. This has proved to be a good move because a lot of the women that we have trained to Preliminary or Intermediate level have been out of education and training environments for a good number of years now and because they are familiar with the tutors, who they see each week at the league games, it is easier to encourage them back into learning. It also helps that the majority of the people on the courses we run in Burnley, are also playing in the leagues so they know each other and recognise the value of them doing the course, as it enables their league to continue to run.

Our Level 2 coaches deliver sessions in Burnley to any teams or individuals. This benefits our leagues as all players are then given the pathway to our fun just play sessions and on to playing in the leagues.

APPROACH

We were successful in gaining £9.5k funding from Sport England to enable us to train umpires and coaches with the view to sustaining our leagues and to help develop and expand our project.

We requested that the clubs Rounders England Tutors were used to deliver the courses we set up in Burnley because of the benefits listed above. Our project has grown as a result of the courses we have delivered over the past 12/18 months. Moreso, the same tutors are also employed by Rounders England to deliver other courses across the region, which has been great as it gives the tutors varied experience working with other groups.

OUTCOME

Since our Rounders project started just over 3 years ago we have trained over 50 Preliminary Umpires, 24 Intermediate Umpires, 12 Rounders Activators, 6 Level 1 Rounders Coaches and 6 Level 2 Rounders Coaches; 3 of which have gone on to become Rounders England Tutors who now deliver all the above courses in Burnley, as well as others across the region.

Our aim is to continue to train our umpires and coaches and for our tutors to continue to work with Rounders England to grow the game in Burnley.

Article by Rounders England:

Rounders England is a non-profit sport’s governing body (NGB) in England.

Based in Sheffield it provides a structure for the sport from the Board, local deliverers and teams right the way through to individual members and volunteers.