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Kate Page-Smith from the West Midlands Softball League reports:

The TourCats -- ten members of the Birmingham Bobcats Softball Club -- hit the road to France, Belgium and the Netherlands on the weekend of July 8-10 for sightseeing, partying and softball.

The trip was organised by Reinout Mildner and Kate Page-Smith, who felt that it would be a good opportunity for team bonding, skill development and a good advertisement for both the Bobcats and the host Sittard Condors Softball Club.

The TourCats included Reinout Mildner, Kate Page-Smith, Quentin Young, Debbie Evetts, Chris Williams, Lisa Mildner, Tad Ukai, Jim Kent, Jonathan Wilkes and Ed Jones. The team were a mixture of abilities from seasoned veterans to first-season players.

In Bruges

After travelling in two cars through three countries, the first night was danced away in Bruges, Belgium until 4.30 am.

However, by 10.00 am the next day the TourCats were out of bed for a couple of hours of sight-seeing before heading off to Sittard in The Netherlands. On arrival, the TourCats were confronted with an extremely professional-looking team and pitch (including dugouts), but the TourCats were not deterred.

The Sittard Condors were established in 1978 in the Dutch province of Limburg, which is the southernmost province of the Netherlands and their team was lead by Maarten Beks.

Photo by Kate Page-Smith, Bobcats Social Chair

In action

The game started as it meant to go on, with the TourCats leading the way. Every team member excelled themselves and had a thoroughly good time.

Both Quentin Young and Tad Ukai achieved multiple home runs, Chris Williams and Jonathan Wilkes provided an impenetrable wall in the infield, Debbie Evetts caught a fantastic foul-tip, Reinout Mildner produced strike after strike as the pitcher, Ed Jones triumphantly slid into home, Jim Kent kept everyone on their toes with his outfield hits, Lisa Mildner made an excellent debut and Kate Page-Smith -- well, she made enough noise so that the Bobcats back in Brum could hear.

The final result was 23-5 to the TourCats. To round off the afternoon, the two teams mixed to create the "Tour-dors" and the "Bob-cons" for two innings and afterwards the TourCats presented the Condors with a gift and an invitation to Birmingham next year.


To celebrate, the TourCats hit the town of Maastricht for another memorable night before driving back to England on Sunday -- but not before a quick throw-around on the beach at De Panne, Belgium.

The trip was a huge success and the Bobcats are keen to repeat the experience next year. There is certainly something to be said for a team getting to know each other outside of practice -- the TourCats left Birmingham as skilled individual players and returned as an international winning team.

For more information about the Tour see our blog on and our other Bobcat pages: and