Resident health and wellbeing expert Trevor Smith finds us ready to move out of lockdown and ready to swing into action with County Durham Spartans Baseball Club

I CERTAINLY feel like I have come out of hibernation over the last few days. The anniversary of the national lockdown this past week, gave us all a chance to reflect on how we have been affected.

Now, we must each take positive steps to re-engage with activities that we may not have had the chance to participate in since lockdown began.

Since Monday, we have been able to return to some outdoor activities:

  • Outdoor informal sport/activity can happen with rule of six or two households in a public place or garden;
  • Outdoor group activities can happen if formally organised;
  • Outdoor sports facilities will be available, such as basketball courts and sports pitches;
  • Grassroots sport such as football will also return.

One of the things I do enjoy, is to highlight the great work that is done by a wide range of dedicated individuals and organisations around our region.

People who make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of their local community. There are thousands of people across the sport and physical activity sector who give up their time to make a difference by sharing their knowledge, skills and experience. Whenever I meet them, I always feel I learn something from their dedication, commitment and hard work.

As more and more activities are permitted to return, I will be sharing options for people to participate in a variety of activities and signpost them to a club or group.

One such group is County Durham Spartans Baseball Club, which was formed in 2011. The name is intended to reflect the broad geographical area that players come from.

The team has played regularly in the AA Division of the Northern Baseball League from 2012 until 2019. During that time, the club has performed well and experienced success by winning the AA Division of the league in 2015 and 2018.

It’s all in the reach

It’s all in the reach

After a competitive 2018 season, which ultimately saw them crowned AA Division champions, due to retirements and relocations, the club was left with just four regular players. Fortunately, the players who remained were committed to the future of the club and recruited new players during 2019 and were ready to re-enter the league for the 2020 season with a roster bursting with enthusiasm and raw talent.

Although ultimately the 2020 season was disrupted by Covid, work has continued to improve at the club, in terms of infrastructure, facilities and players. The club has moved to a new home field, with much-improved facilities, at the Staindrop Academy.

Players have continued to hone their skills across the diamond with regular training sessions, whenever they have been allowed in anticipation of the new season. 

Colin Beadnell, general manager said “I joined County Durham Spartans Baseball Club three years ago, having come late into the world of baseball, and having never played baseball before.

“I found an inclusive community with a joint passion for everything baseball related. Like many community sports we survive and thrive on the members we attract to the club and we are always looking for new members who want to try a new and exciting sport or already have a love of baseball or ball sports but just want somewhere to play.

“We welcome all ages and abilities, in our older team we have teenagers to myself in my forties, from beginners who wanted to try something different to those who have played baseball and softball to a highly competitive level, everyone is welcome.

“I love the feeling of being part of a community club and a minority sport in that we have the chance to bring something to the area that people can try and challenge themselves with. I enjoy the technical aspect of baseball as well as the obvious physical benefits it has.

“We started yesterday, with a view to starting our AA league campaign on the June 6.

“We will be training on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings (weather dependant). Anyone who would like to try baseball is more than welcome and we would love to see as many new faces as possible at our home ground in Staindrop.

“We will also be looking to move forward with a junior club as we aim to increase participation in baseball.”

Anyone interested in joining the County Durham Spartans, should contact Colin Beadnell on or check out the Facebook page.

If you would like your club or organisation to be highlighted, please get in touch at: