A rounders team which shot to the top of its division during its first season has received a sponsorship boost from Drighlington business, Inspectas.
Formed by parents of Birkenshaw Blue Dogs rugby players and other local women, the Birkenshaw Blue Dogs rounders team evolved from a desire to “do something for us” in a male dominated sporting community. Today the team has more than 25 members including mothers and daughters and has secured kit co-sponsorship from Inspectas Property Compliance.
Captain Cat Shepherd-Holland, who last month was asked to speak about the team with MP Kim Leadbeater at a Rounders England reception in Westminster, said: “We launched last summer after realising lots of women would love to get involved in something sporting. The Blue Dogs do have female rugby teams but we felt rounders was a more inclusive choice for a brand new ladies sporting team – and who doesn’t love rounders?!
“What’s been fantastic is how women of all ages and abilities have joined us and how we’re uniting generations – we’ve got a mother and daughter on the team, grandmas, teenagers and people who’ve had little sporting experience in the past.
“To start with nothing except a small team of amateurs and then win our division during our very first season and exactly a year after our first training session is just incredible and a real testament to the camaraderie, commitment and team spirit of our fabulous players.”
The team’s quest for growth and inclusivity recently came to the attention of another growing, local team – property compliance experts at Inspectas. Formed 10 years ago by asbestos removal specialists Birkenshaw-based Matthew Fahy and colleague Craig Candlish, Inspectas recently moved its 50-strong team into offices on Bradford Road in Drighlington.
Matthew said: “I’ve lived in Birkenshaw for most of my life but this is the first time Inspectas has been based near my home town. Being local, I heard about the newly formed Birkenshaw Blue Dogs rounders team and after chatting with colleagues, we all agreed we wanted to support their growth and development.
“We know how hard you have to work to set something up from scratch – that’s exactly what we did with Inspectas – so our hope is that by becoming a co-sponsor of the team’s kit, we are helping to boost pride in their identity and elevate their profile and visibility as an established team within the West Yorkshire Rounders League.”
He added: “The ladies’ meteoric rise through their very first season is reflective of their grit and their team spirit. We’re absolutely delighted to be associated with a team whose values so clearly reflect our own and we’d like to wish them all the very best of luck as they move into and through division four!”
The Birkenshaw Blue Dogs rounders team continues to look for new players to benefit from the friendship and physical and mental wellbeing the sport brings as it continues its local league and friendly games, training at Tong High School and playing matches across the region.
Cat added: “Rounders was something we didn’t know was missing from our lives and now we’ve found it, the support of sponsors like Inspectas gives us not only the resources but the confidence to keep on going, keep on growing and keep on benefitting from this fantastic sporting community that we are so excited to discover!”
For further details about joining the Birkenshaw Blue Dogs rounders team, contact through Instagram @birkenshaw_bluedogs_rounders.