Three Tanbridge House School pupils hope to step up to the plate after being selected to train for Team GB’s under-15 baseball squad.
The trio are pitching to secure a place in the permanent team after catching the eye of coaches at a winter training camp and being invited to trials.
Tom Sullivan, Joe Boarer, both 12, and Myles Buckton, 13, who all play for Horsham Baseball Club, are looking forward to catching their opportunity with both hands and fulfilling a dream of playing their beloved sport all over the world.
Mark Sullivan, Tom’s dad and coach at Horsham Baseball Club, said: “I am absolutely buzzing for them, although I am a little bit biased as one is my son.
“It’s an excellent achievement for the three lads and it’s nice to be recognised as they are local lads who play for a local club.”
Both Sullivan and Buckton started the sport at an after school club under coach Paul Taylor at Southwater Junior Academy.
From there they joined Horsham Baseball Club and after meeting Boarer, from Broadbridge Heath, at Tanbridge, the trio were recommended by coaches for a place in the BaseballSoftballUK Academy that train during the winter at MK Dons.
The academy which trains once a month is a feeder club for Team GB and they were spotted by coaches and asked along to a trial back in November.
Sullivan’s mum Trudy explained: “The Team GB coaches watch all the boys at the winter training and if they think they are good enough, they invited them back to the dome to try out.
“A couple of weeks went by after this and we heard nothing back and thought that was the end of it – we didn’t know at the time, but the GB team was going through some transitional changes.
“Glen Robertson the general manager of Team GB, got back to us and now they are training with the academy on Saturdays and Team GB on Sundays.
“It’s all part of grooming them and integrating them with the team for when they are older.
“The junior team are going to Belgrade in Russia for the European Championship qualifiers later this year.
“Obviously, I do think it will be a bit too early for them at that stage, but the opportunity is there to go all-round the world, so it will be great to get into.”
In the future, Sullivan is hoping to live the American dream to further himself in the sport, by securing a place at a college in the States.
Horsham Junior Baseball Club welcomes boys and girls from ages six to 16 and of all abilities.
Training for eight to 12-year-olds runs on Wednesdays at Billingshurst Leisure Centre from 6pm to 7pm.
For more information, contact Robin on robinB@horshambaseball.co.uk”