The Redcoats are working very hard to establish a strong softball programme and develop players who would be good enough to compete at an international level

For the 2nd year in a row the Ghajnsielem Redcoats will travel abroad during the summer for a joint softball training camp. In July 2016, the U17 softball team went to Heerhugowaard in North Holland to practice with BC The Herons for a week. This year the girls will team up with SK Joudrs Praha for a softball training camp in Prague.

The Czech Republic is one of the top nations in Europe when it comes to softball. Their softball national teams regularly finish top 4 in all categories. Last weekend they finished runners-up in the U16 Softball European Championship when they narrowly lost 2-4 to the Netherlands. Several players of the Czech Republic Cadettes are from SK Joudrs Praha. As a club, Joudrs also have a checkered history. Last year they lost the final of the European Women’s Premier Cup, the most important club competition in Europe, against Sparks Haarlem of the Netherlands.

The Redcoats are working very hard to establish a strong softball programme and develop players who would be good enough to compete at an international level. This takes a long time, especially given the limited resources of the club. It is for this reason that the Club is continuously trying to forge alliances with some of the most prominent clubs in European softball. Having already secured the support of Olympia Haarlem of the Netherlands and Softball Club Princ Zagreb of Croatia for the Erasmus+ Sports: Small Collaborative Partnerships project IGETS, the Redcoats hope that this joint training camp will be the start of a long lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with SK Joudrs Praha.

Fifteen members of the youth softball team along with two coaches will fly to Prague on Saturday, July 29, and return the following Saturday. Accompanying the team on this trip will be six parents and a child. As was the case last year the morning and early afternoon will be dedicated to sightseeing and shopping. The practice sessions will take place from 5pm onwards. Coach Eva Rychtaříková will conduct the joint training camp and she will be assisted by a US pitcher and a Canadian catcher who are currently playing for the club. Redcoats coaches Joseph Scicluna and Steve Ellis will also assist.

During the recent trip to Castions Delle Mura, coaches Scicluna and Ellis held a meeting with Coach Rychtaříková to plan out the training camp. There will be sessions Monday through Friday with exhibition games between the two teams on Wednesday and Friday. Coach Rychtaříková was accompanying her team as they competed in the U17 Summerdays International Softball Youth Tournament. The cadettes of SK Joudrs Praha will also participate in two other international tournaments this summer including the highly competitive European Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy in Collechio, Italy, later on this month.

The Redcoats are very much looking forward to this training camp and hope that this trip will help the players improve their fundamental softball skills so that they will soon be able to compete as a team in international tournaments. Another objective of this trip is for the girls to continue to develop a love for softball so that they will stay engaged playing the game. Forming friendships with the players from Joudrs will also help to achieve this goal. The Redcoats hope that soon they will also be able to host teams such as SK Joudrs for a training camp or a tournament in Gozo. Best of luck to the Redcoats travelling to Prague.