To kick-start our #AllRoundEngland campaign we caught up with North Devon Rounders to see how their season is going and how they’re preparing for their upcoming Annual Charity Rounders Tournament (Sunday 22nd July).
What does a typical North Devon session look like?
We usually start with a warm-up and then either have a coaching session or get straight into a game, working coaching points into the game as we go. Most nights we nominate a player of the night – it’s a really good boost for those who get it and can help others to try that little bit harder. The player of the night is always nominated by more than one person, so it’s spread around the players.
We have a couple of trips each year to play in Taunton at Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) friendlies, usually, a ladies only team indoor during the winter and their end of season outdoor round-robin tournament in the summer.
We also play on the beach, sometimes as a group, and at other times with visiting teams. Beach matches are very informal and usually involve some sort of food and drink afterwards from hot chocolate to curry – depending on the time of year! We love playing on the beach…tide and weather allowing! It was great to have some of the Taunton teams come and play at Woolacombe with us last September, and we have another beach game scheduled with them this September. We have also played at other times during the year, we’ve done a few New Year matches – a good way to run off the mince pies!
Does North Devon Rounders have a good social scene?
As well as the beach matches, we sometimes go to the pub after we’ve played, particularly in the summer. In the winter we play until 9.30pm on a Weds, so a bit late for a school night! We’ve all made a lot of friends through playing and will often meet up socially for things other than Rounders.
Socially, our annual Christmas meal (normally in January!) is also our Awards Night; it is a lot of fun. We usually incorporate games into the evening – in 2018 we played the After Eight game (other chocolates are available!) and had to identify players from pictures that had two of their faces combined. There were some hard combinations…
Why do you affiliate to Rounders England?
We affiliated to Rounders England to take advantage of the insurance, both for running a session and as a committee. We also feel it is important to support Rounders England in their role as the National Governing Body for the sport in this country.
What’s your top tip on running a Rounders club?
To have fun and make it social! We are extremely lucky in that we have a very talented group of people involved in the club, both on the committee and as members, and we get a lot more out of it than just playing Rounders – making friends, being active and raising money for many local good causes, as well as being social and competitive.
Tell us about the Annual Charity Tournament:
We have our 5th Annual Charity Rounders Tournament on Sunday 22nd July, supporting North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA). We have raised over £2,350 for local charities over the last 4 years, and we’re looking forward to increasing that total this year.
The tournament takes place at Barnstaple Rugby Club, Pottington Road, EX31 1JH, and is open to all to spectate. Refreshments will be available, with the bar open in the afternoon.