The club has recently grown from two to three adult baseball teams, with the new Gold Cats team aiming to develop young players who have recently moved up from the Junior Section, along with beginners and other adults new to the game. David Jones will be helping to manage and coach this team in between his umpiring duties.
Guildford’s Junior section is looking to expand in both the U14 and U11 categories, and will be focusing specifically on primary-age children this coming season. As Safeguarding Officer for the club and one of its Junior coaches, David Jones will be closely involved in this work.
There are also plans to improve umpiring knowledge within the club and to get more members to the point where they are confident in umpiring games, at least at the Single-A level. David Jones will be running internal training for club members to help them make their first steps.
As part of its overall plans to expand numbers and create additional facilities, the club is now working with another local school to establish the game there. This follows the work done in partnership with BSUK around forming school links in the Guildford/Woking district through Youth Sport Trust funding. The club will deliver assemblies, taster sessions and an after-school club in the summer term, and David Jones will again play a key part in this work.
Softball is another area that the club plans to develop this year. The aim is to run a local Guildford-based midweek league consisting of both company teams and individual walk-up teams. The growth of this league will align with participation in a new Surrey-Sussex Softball League that is currently being established.
David Jones and others are also working with Local Authorities and Sport England to find funding that will allow the club to establish a larger coaching base, which can help develop more players in future. Some club members are already attending coaching, safeguarding and first aid courses to further this objective.
Guildford Mavericks Chairman Michael Burdett said, "I want to say a big congratulations to David Jones on winning the 2017 BSUK Volunteer of the Year Award for all the work you do for us as a club -- not just the umpiring, but all the other stuff such as the safeguarding duties, Juniors, equipment managing and especially all the work around our Clubmark ccreditation. I certainly appreciate it, and I am sure the rest of the club do as well."