Wickes softball teams are aiming to hit blood cancers out of the park when they take to the field for their charity tournament this summer, thanks to a new partnership with BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) and the British Softball Federation (BSF).
BSUK, the development agency for the two sports, and the BSF have pitched in to help teams of colleagues from Wickes raise their games and money for the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
More than 60 teams from the DIY chain’s stores across the South West took part in last year’s tournament, bringing home an amazing total of over £10,000 towards the charity’s lifesaving research into all blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
BSUK will once again provide umpires and equipment for the tournament’s Finals Day to be held at on Sunday 4 September, where regional winners will compete to be crowned champions. An official softball venue will be confirmed at a later date.
Together BSUK and BSF are committed to establishing the tournament as a leading example of how to increase sporting opportunity while raising money for charity. The BSF has announced a new "Give a Glove, Bring a Bat" campaign, urging players from the softball community to donate old or unused playing equipment to provide starter packs for new teams, reducing equipment costs.
In addition to boosting organisation and participation in this year’s tournament, BSUK and the BSF hope the relationship with Wickes and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research can provide a model both for charity corporate partnerships and the growth of corporate softball within the UK.
John Boyd, BSUK's Joint CEO and Head of Development, said:
"We are delighted to be working again in partnership with both Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Wickes on this exciting development programme. We are hoping to build our programme into this second year by working with both partners to create a memorable softball experience for the players and supporting in the planning and delivery of the events themselves. We see this type of corporate relationship as a model that will benefit all parties mutually and allow us to increase membership and links into the softball playing community."
Wickes announced Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research as its first-ever national charity partner in October 2006, aiming to raise £200,000 for the blood cancer charity during a year-long partnership. Its success has led to the extension of the partnership until the end of 2012 and a fantastic £1.6 million raised so far towards beating blood cancers.