Column: 'To have these teams situated within Sussex is perfect for an American sports fanatic like myself'
University of Chichester student Daniel Edgoose would pick baseball and American Football over rounders and rugby. Here he explains why.
When asked the simple question 'what is your favourite sport?' it is no surprise that most of the English population will give similar answers, with Football, Cricket and Rugby likely to be the sports you will hear.
Given the huge participation rates and the media coverage these sports get within England, this is really not surprising, but when I am asked this question, people are often amazed to hear me say 'Baseball'. I am not American, nor have I ever lived 'across the pond', so what is about this simple bat and ball game which shares so many similarities to Rounder's that grips me and thousands of other people within this country? Baseball to its fans is not just a sport, but it's almost a way of life, making it almost impossible to find a 'casual fan'.
People are often unaware that the sport is played throughout England, and a club is even located within Sussex.
Created in 1965, Brighton Baseball Club is located at the Waterhall playing fields, Brighton, and is host to a youth team which welcomes and develops young players aged 6 to 14. There are also two teams for adults, with one of the teams competing within England's top division, the National Baseball League(NBL), while the second team is a recreational side, who play a couple of divisions down.
The team has achieved success in the past, but has not won a major trophy since 2013, and with the NBL team currently sitting at three wins and eight losses, success is unlikely to be achieved this year.
For Baseball enthusiasts like myself who are situated on the South Coast and in Sussex, the club offers the chance to meet people who share a common interest in Baseball, while representing the club and sport throughout the country.
Baseball isn't the only American sports club that can be found in Sussex. Founded in 1997, the Sussex Thunder American Football team are also found at the Waterhall playing fields, and offers fans of the sport a chance to take part in either their junior roster, which is designed for under 18's, or the adult roster which competes in the Division 1 SFC South league.
The Thunder are currently having an incredibly successful season, currently holding a record which boasts 7 wins and 0 losses. American football as a sport is growing significantly in England, and with the annual NFL global games consistently selling out Wembley stadium, alongside Universities adopting the game into their sport programs, expect American Football to continue growing in popularity.
To have these teams situated within Sussex is perfect for an American sports fanatic like myself and others, who are given the opportunity to participate in sports that are really only played on the other side of the world, and while the sports may not be incredibly popular, having local teams can only grow interest.