Summer is almost here, and for many companies in the South East and around the country, that means it’s time to get their employees out on the softball field.

A growing list of companies, including HSBC, Carluccio’s, MBNA, SEGRO and many others, have found that softball is an ideal sport for improving staff well-being through physical activity.

Softball (think of it as a recreational version of baseball) is welcoming, fun, easy to play – even for non-sporty types – and it’s one of the few sports where men and women play on equal terms in the same team, making it an ideal social activity.

Age and ability are no barrier -- softball is a sport for anyone who wants to combine exercise and fun.

Softball games take between 45 and 90 minutes, and are played outdoors in parks, ideally on sunny summer evenings or afternoons! While the sport doesn’t demand a lot of endurance or aerobic activity, it will still give anyone who plays a good workout in the company of their friends and colleagues.

That’s why so many companies are turning to softball as a way to reduce stress and boost morale among their staff and create a healthier, happier and more committed workforce – all of which can reduce the mounting costs of sickness and absenteeism.

Surveys have shown that every £1 spent on work-based health promotion programmes provides up to £34 in cost/benefit savings.

So how can companies who have never experienced softball get involved?

The answer is Hit the Pitch, a workplace softball programme created by BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK), the national development agency for those sports in Britain.

Hit the Pitch aims to introduce new players to softball in a fun and engaging way. The programme can be tailored to suit organisational needs, and offers three ways to enjoy the game:

A Day Package that provides a quick and friendly introduction to the sport, including basic instruction followed by the chance to play a game.

A Team Package or League Package suitable for those looking to play on a more regular basis.

For the Day Package, ideal for a summer social event such as a Family Day or company picnic, BSUK will send an expert coach to lead sessions and will also provide equipment hire, playing guides and insurance. Pitch hire, catering, uniforms and trophies are additional options.

To find out more about Hit the Pitch softball programmes and possibilities, email HitthePitch@bsuk.com or call 020 7453 7055.

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