Gosport & Fareham’s Junior League has come back from the brink – and is now going from strength to strength.
Since its revival in March 2010, the league has thrived, with more than 20 teams now involved across various age groups.
‘Considering the league nearly folded a year ago, it’s great to see it in full swing again,’ said chairwoman Kelly Hayward.
‘But this couldn’t have happened without the hard work and dedication of my committee, the team managers and the players themselves.’
Back in September 2009, Jannene Taylor stepped down as chairwoman after many years at the helm.
So in March 2010, a new committee was formed to save the league.
And with Hayward at the helm, the set-up is continuing to thrive, with three new age categories, Year 8 and below, Year 9, and Year 10/11.
‘Following in Jannene’s footsteps was always going to be hard but I think I’ve pulled it off,’ added Hayward.
‘The standard of the league has improved greatly and we have had new teams join the league.
‘We even had to change the age groups to accommodate all the teams that wanted to play, which is a great problem for the league to have.’
In the Year 8 and below category, three teams are storming ahead of the rest – GB Wildcats, Just A Head and West Hill.
Due to cancelled fixtures, the final games will be played this week.
And any three of the teams can pick up the title, ensuring it will be a very tense night for the youngsters.
In the Year 9 group, it is Fareham Fireflys Gold who have run away with it.
They are unbeaten all season and, after such an impressive campaign, it’s been decided to progress the team up an age group early to give them more challenging matches.
GB Diamonds are also unbeaten so far in Year 10/11, closely followed by Fareham Fireflys Lime.
‘It’s great to see teams improve and get a title they deserve,’ said Hayward.
‘Fareham Gold have really come on as a team, so to finish unbeaten and decide they want to play in a higher group is fantastic.
‘In all divisions, there have been some fantastic games and great scorelines, which from the league’s point of view keeps it interesting, right until the end.’
The winter season sees just one round of games for the league, with an exciting knockout tournament played after Christmas for the young players.
Hayward continued: ‘We also have lots of new young umpires within the league who are all doing very, very well.
‘But with so many young and new umpires, some help from adult qualified umpires would be much appreciated.
‘We want to ensure we support these young girls so they remain willing and keen to umpire.’
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