The British Softball Federation Executive has appointed four members from the softball community to make up its new Athletes Commission and has also filled the vacant position of Fastpitch Development Officer.

Athletes Commission

The Athletes Commission has been created to help the BSF Executive better understand the needs and views of the different constituencies within British softball, and the four members have been chosen to provide representation for women’s fastpitch, men’s fastpitch and slowpitch.

After an initial meeting with someone from the BSF Executive on 12 June, the Athletes Commission will decide how it will work and what issues it will focus on. 

The brief will be for the Commission to meet at regular intervals, but at least quarterly, and for one member of the Commission to attend BSF Executive meetings from time to time to report on the Commission’s findings and recommendations.

Below are the representatives who have appointed to the Commission.


Jenny Horton will be one of the Commission members representing slowpitch.

Jenny learned the game as a young player in the Chichester Falcons youth programme, and now plays on their Solent League team as well as for SPAM in NSL3. 

She works in industry as a Personal Trainer, focusing on mental health, and as a sports coach.

In her application, Jenny wrote, “I love softball -- I think it’s an amazing sport with so many awesome characters involved in the community!  I’m a firm believer that participation in sport is fundamental to wellbeing for so many and important to promote!”


The other slowpitch representative on the Athletes Commission will be Tim Bishop.

Tim currently lives in Birmingham and has played slowpitch softball – both co-ed and single-sex, at different grades and in various leagues -- for 23 years. 

His local club is currently the Coventry Blitz, a grassroots Rec team focused on developing new players, and he also plays with the KKs in NSL1.

Tim travels to tournaments around the country throughout the summer and spends time with players from all slowpitch grades.

In his application, Tim wrote, “I have a great network of friends and colleagues and I am passionate about softball, particularly slowpitch.  I am keen to develop stronger ties to the organisation of the sport and ultimately set up a league in Birmingham.”


Women’s fastpitch will be represented on the Commission by Dani Briggs.

Dani has been playing softball since the age of 10, and grew up playing in the Australian system, representing her state of South Australia at junior and senior levels.  

She also coached junior teams in school and state championships.

Now, in the UK, Dani currently plays fastpitch for the London Angels in the GBFL, women’s baseball for Belles, slowpitch for LNZ, and Indoor softball for Thames Valley.

Dani works as a PE teacher and Personal Trainer and has also recently been appointed as an Assistant Coach for the GB Under-15 Women’s Fastpitch Team.

In her application, Dani wrote: “I can communicate well with athletes and coaches across all ages and abilities in the sport.  I am keen to get involved in supporting the growth of fastpitch in Great Britain and see this role on the Athletes Commission as another opportunity to do so.”


Men’s fastpitch will be represented on the Athletes Commission by Matt Tomlin.

Matt has been involved with softball from a young age and began playing with the Nottingham Pyros slowpitch team at the age of 14.  He has been part of the GB Slowpitch squad since 2015, competing at four World Cups, two European Co-ed Championships and two European Men’s Slowpitch Championships.

Matt started playing fastpitch at the age of 16 and was selected a year later to represent GB at the 2013 European Under-19 Men’s Championship.  Since then, Matt has been to the 2016 Europeans and 2017 World Championship with the GB Senior Men’s Team and has been selected to the team again this year.

Matt currently captains the Meteors in the Great Britain Fastpitch League and has twice taken a team to the European Men’s Super Cup.  The Meteors will be going to the Super Cup again this year and one of Matt’s key aims is to expose as many British players as possible to a higher level of fastpitch.

Over the past two years, Matt has been a member of the East Midlands Softball League Committee, helping develop softball in his local area.

In his application, Matt wrote, “My main reasons for applying to this role are to further push the development of the sport as a whole, both in fastpitch and slowpitch, to help create opportunities for all within the sport, and to assist in making decisions that will benefit the players in both communities.”

Fastpitch Development Officer

The BSF has co-opted Laura Hirai to fill the vacant position of Fastpitch Development Officer.

The BSF first advertised this new position on the Executive in 2022 but had no applications.

The aim in creating the role was to find someone who could work with BaseballSoftballUK on the design and delivery of development initiatives that can get more people -- and especially young people -- playing the format, and also look at ways to improve and extend existing fastpitch competition structures, particularly the Great Britain Fastpitch League (GBFL).

Laura played on GB Fastpitch Teams at various age levels between 2012 and 2019 before leaving for the US, where she played softball at Division 3 Swarthmore College from 2018 to 2022, one of a handful of home-grown players to play college softball in the United States.  She will be trialing for the Senior Women’s Team this year and has recently been appointed as an Assistant Coach for the GB Under-18 Women’s Fastpitch Team.

Laura has simultaneously pursued her love for baseball, being the first and only female player so far to represent Great Britain on its Under-16 and Under-18 national teams.  She now plays for the Women’s Baseball National Team.

Laura defines herself as a home-grown player, having learned fastpitch from coaches at the Softball Academy and by playing in the GBFL.  She understands the youth pipeline here in the UK, and also the elite level of the game that is played in US colleges and at international tournaments, and she has contacts with coaches and players around the world.

Laura will bring a wealth of knowledge, empathy and vision to her role in helping to grow the quantity and quality of fastpitch in the UK.