Image 2023 08 08 T03 44 42

Meet the organisers of the London Charity Softball League!

Search by
Search by blog tags

Meet the organisers of the London Charity Softball League!

We love sponsoring the London Charity Softball League which gets bigger and more popular every year! But it’s only possible thanks to the four-strong organising committee of volunteers who work tirelessly all summer and beyond to make it happen. We asked spokeswoman Vanessa Furey (of consumer charity Which?) to introduce the dream team, share some highlights and who they might be tipping for victory on Thursday…

The charity softball league is coming to the end of its 13th season and already planning on how we can make the 14th bigger and better than ever. What we love is just how many people want to be a part of it!

The league is the brainchild of Leo Visconti who decided he wanted to do something to get his colleagues from across his organisation to work together, and others were interested too. We started out with just 9 teams and grew rapidly year on year purely through word of mouth.

This year we've had to limit it to just 88 teams but many of them are made up of several organisations meaning that over 120 charities take part in the league, with lots on standby for next year.

It's run by a committee of volunteers, which works really well as we have a range of different strengths that complement each other.

Leo is Mr Fix, he sorts out all the relationships with the sponsors and also hands out the yellow cards when any issues come up. He's firm but fair and a stickler for the rules.

Paul Mehta is our stats man, hence the nickname Stato. He pretty much keeps the league running on a week by week basis and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of seasons past. He's come so close to winning a few times but it's yet to happen, we're all keeping our fingers crossed for him for next year... unless he's in our leagues.

Rob Wyatt (Earp) is the new guy on the committee and has been a brilliant support all season keeping teams in check and coordinating the pitch bookings in Hyde Park. He's essentially our logistics guy and always on hand to help solve a problem.

And me, well I guess I'm the campaigns and comms one of the group. I look after our social media and try to promote what the teams are doing, getting them excited for the new season. I joined the committee after leading our campaign to keep Hyde Park free to play sport. Not only did we stop the Royal Parks charges, the whole campaign brought the league closer together.

Our proudest moments have been seeing organisations come together to collaborate on things that wouldn't have been possible without the league. And we've lost count of how many relationships and babies the league has led to, hopefully another generation of softball players!

We've also seen people go on to play outside the league with clubs in Softball UK's leagues. Claude Snape, who only took up softball due to the charity league, has even played for Great Britain and won numerous medals. With Rio coming to an end, it's great to see softball making it in to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Fingers crossed some of the people starting out in the league might catch the bug and go on to great things!

As I mentioned, the league came under threat just a year after the London Olympics when the Royal Parks allowed a company to charge £30+ an hour to use the area in Hyde Park. This felt wrong and a campaign, supported by over 20,000 people soon saw us fighting back, not just for us but everyone else who uses the space or who wants to create something like the softball league. We rely on using free space to make the league accessible to anyone, and we'd love to see more places in London for people to play sports without paying a fee.

The committee are obviously completely impartial when it comes to who wins, but with Leo finally taking part we'd be happy to see him finally get his hands on some silverware. But after months of planning and weeks fighting against the great wet and windy British summer, we are just happy to be able to let our hair down and enjoy the evening with everyone who has helped to make the league so special.

 

Many thanks to Vanessa and all the organisers; we’ve got the easier job (along with fellow sponsors Blue Step Solutions and Snap Print Management) of keeping the crowds refreshed on the day and we’re looking forward to the celebrations!

 

  • Image 2022 11 26 T23 39 23

    Opportunity for all

    Find out how we’re working to deliver more diverse, equitable and inclusive recruitment…

    Find out more

  • Image 2022 11 26 T23 39 23

    Recruiting a charity CEO?

    Our executive recruitment specialists have an exceptional record of successful CEO, chair, trustee and…

    Find out more

  • The Harris Hill Salary Survey 2024

    Charity sector salaries

    Check out the market rate for your charity role in the latest Harris Hill Salary Survey.

    View our latest survey

News and insights

For more careers and recruitment advice: Read the Harris Hill Blog
Blogthumb Marketing 2

2024 Salary Survey: marketing, PR and digital trends

Focusing on one area of expertise gives our specialists a clear view of what's happening in their field across the sector, insights you'll find in the 2024 Harris Hill Salary Survey, together with current rates for around 200 charity and not for profit sector positions.​​You can view the full survey via the link above, but here's what the team had to say about the current market for charity pro...

Read more
Blogthumb Fundraising

2024 Salary Survey: fundraising market trends

The 2024 Harris Hill Salary Survey is out now, and along with current rates for around 200 charity and not for profit positions, we look at trends in the job market by area of expertise and across the sector. You can view or download the survey here to check out the figures, but here’s what we had to say about the market and current trends within fundraising.​​​Market overviewThis year’s figure...

Read more
Blogthumb Final

Thinking of temping? Here’s what to consider…

Temping offers flexibility, variety and a chance to boost your CV - but is it right for you?​ Hear from current Harris Hill temps as freelance writer and guest blogger Nicola Greenbrook explores...Do you ever catch yourself gazing out of the window, dreaming about a work life that breaks away from the conventional nine-to-five? Are you someone with multiple interests and many interconnecting ca...

Read more
Blog Thumb 2

Celebrating UK charity jobs for UK Charity Week 2023!

It's UK Charity Week 2023, so join us for a whirlwind festive tour of some of the best opportunities with charities around the country!​Yes, even though it feels about 30 seconds since you bundled last year’s decorations into an overstuffed box in the loft*, it’s December already, which means it’s time to get them down but more importantly, time for UK Charity Week 2023, celebrating the brillia...

Read more
B Corp Blogthumb Final

Harris Hill is now a Certified B Corporation

We're delighted to share the news that Harris Hill is now B Corp Certified! It makes us part of a global community of businesses meeting high standards of social and environmental impact, accountability and transparency, and leading the transformation of the global economic system. That's a big ambition, but at the simplest level, being certified is recognition that we're here for the right rea...

Read more
Blogthumb 2

Access all areas: how to use the Recite Me toolbar

As part of our diversity and inclusion strategy, the Harris Hill website now features the award-winning Recite Me assistive toolbar, providing a wide range of accessibility and language support tools for a more inclusive online experience. Here’s an overview of the benefits and how to use it.​There’s a lot to look out for when you’re searching for a new job online. In most cases, you'll actual...

Read more
Blogthumb

Meet the 2023 Charity Softball finalists!

​Landing just ahead of the big day and 20th anniversary celebrations, meet the teams playing for glory in the 2023 Charity Softball League!Like any other year, 2003 gave the world some things we’d rather it hadn’t - war in Iraq, the SARS outbreak, the Black Eyed Peas – but over the course of that long hot summer, it also gave us (courtesy of founding father Leo Visconti) something we’re very gl...

Read more