Swindon Softball League is a friendly co-ed slowpitch softball league based in Swindon, Wiltshire.
We are the only softball league in Wiltshire and feature a variety of different abilities from complete beginners to players on the Great Britain team. However, the emphasis is always on the fun and social aspect of the game and a trip to the pub after each week’s game is a must!
We play on Thursday evenings throughout the summer at Chiseldon Recreation Ground. This is usually May- August, depending on the schedule for the year.
We provide outdoor training at the same venue in April and September on Thursday evenings and, depending on demand, throughout the season on Monday evenings as well. We also usually do indoor training between January to March on Thursday evenings, however the venue can vary depending on availability so please check the website for details.
We are very welcoming to new players and teams and pride ourselves on this: we know how nerve-wracking taking up a new sport can be! We are here for everyone and we actively encourage people to come along and give it a go!
The Swindon Softball League was founded in 2002, though it has its roots in two other softball leagues and its history goes back a little further….
In the mid 1990s the league’s founder Ian “Lucky” Luckhurst was living in London and working for Nationwide Building Society. After falling in love with baseball after spending two summers in America in the early 90’s, Lucky sought out ways to get involved in the sport when he got home but no avail.
However, in the mid 90’s Lucky found out about the City Bankers Softball League and was keen to get involved in playing a variant of the sport he had fallen love with. In 1997 Lucky entered a Nationwide team into the Bankers League.
After three fun seasons however, in the autumn of 1999 Lucky got a job at Nationwide’s HQ in Swindon and subsequently moved there. Nobody on the London Nationwide team wanted to carry on without him so Lucky brought all the equipment with him and set up training sessions at Nationwide HQ in the summer of 2000.
After a successful recruitment drive and productive training sessions in the summer of 2000, Lucky formed a team from staff at Nationwide HQ, called the Nationwide Blaze.
By the spring of 2001, the team were ready and keen for some competition. Lucky looked around and, at that time, the closest softball League was based in Malmesbury. This was the Lucent Softball League and was made up of softball teams from different departments within the telecommunications company which had it’s HQ in the nearby Wiltshire town.
The Nationwide Blaze entered the Lucent league in 2001 and subsequently became champions. Sadly, in the off season before the next summer, due to job cuts at Lucent HQ the League lost a lot of players and subsequently folded.
Determined to carry on playing and to help out the two Lucent teams who found themselves without a league (please see the Dodger’s team page for more details on these teams), in 2002 Lucky invited them to join the now two Nationwide teams to play at the sports Pavillion at Nationwide HQ. Following an advertisement to invite more teams to join them, they were joined by a team from the Early Learning Centre (Brilliantly called The Toddlers) and The Swindon Softball League was born.
Where we are now
Although a lot has changed since 2002, some of the original Nationwide Blaze and Lucent players still play in the League today (including Lucky!).
The Swindon Softball League has hosted over 20 teams in its lifetime and has fluctuated from eight to three teams in a given season. The passion of its players to create and sustain a friendly and sociable softball League has kept the League going through the tougher times.
Currently sitting at a healthy 6 teams, Swindon Softball League openly welcomes new players and new teams as part of our quest to share softball with as many people as possible. We’d love to here from you! If you would like to play for us please contact us here.
Our Values and Why We Play
We believe so strongly in softball we felt it was important that we dedicated a whole page to why we play, what we as a League stand for stand for and what you can expect from us.