Meet Us: UCLA Club Softball
“It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life's story will develop.''
In 2014 a few persistent athletes were facing adversity as they were trying to revive the entire UCLA Club Softball program that had gone defunct. With lack of funds, no coaches and insufficient ways of recruitment this proved to be quite a struggle. Their passion for the sport motivated them to put in the work needed to overcome these hurdles. They persevered at bringing back this program feeling it would only increase their already strong ties and experience here at the number one public university. Since that time, the program has grown and evolved from its roster of 13 players and now boasts 18 players and 2 coaches. This group of aspiring nurses, other medical professionals, psychologists and much more are quick to point out that we are not alone. We are so proud of and grateful to the village that has nurtured us and brought us this far- UCLA, our families and friends. However, there is still much work to be done. Each year the team works hard and gets better, continues to show increased commitment, with the ultimate goal of making it to nationals in Georgia. Funding is just one roadblock with an ever developing program. With this lofty goal in mind and our travel plans to play in both San Diego and Arizona at stake, we graciously ask for your support to help us continue to develop our story. We are a team comprised of high school valedictorians, and multi-sport team players with a passion for both softball and UCLA education. Help us to represent UCLA in this fashion that it so deserves.
As mentioned previously, our program is still starting to take hold and make a name for itself. In the early years of redeveloping this team, they were able to slowly get the ball rolling and gather up minimal equipment for the team to make it through practices and games. In more recent years, we have been able to add to the team equipment, also adding a larger and stronger core group of girls as well. This means that when it comes time to make trips out of the LA area and out of state, travel costs begin to add up quickly. What once was a team that hardly had enough girls for a roster, has become a program with 18 girls that want to be on the field. When we travel out of the area, it really becomes its own little road trip. We have to find sufficient lodging for our entire team to stay together, rent cars from the fleet and account for the extra expenses such as food and gas. When we travel to Arizona, we end up needing to stay multiple days/nights because the games tend to be split, and per our travel rules, drivers can only be behind the wheel for an allotted amount of hours each day of travel. This makes it easier on our team as far as resting, but more difficult for us as far as funding. It is with your support that our team will be able to not only plan accordingly to get all the girls to our away games, but allow us the chance to make some memories on those trips that will last a lifetime.
Our Current Finances
The funds that we were able to raise in the past couple of years have managed to last us up to this season. We have been fortunate enough to keep our club dues as affordable as possible so that financial constraints are not an issue for our athletes, but the costs for maintaining our growing program can run very high. A single home series will cost us about $600-$700, which includes reserving a field, hiring umpires, and providing game balls. A single away series can cost us anywhere from about $150-$950 (depending on the distance) which includes lodging for the entire team, fleet rentals, food and gas. One full uniform will come out to about $80. Each contribution to our campaign, no matter how small, helps to alleviate the financial burden placed on our players and coaches, and for that we are extremely grateful!
Here's What YOU Can Do!
With the help of our donors in the past couple of years we have been able to pay for our annual league dues, fields, travel and equipment needs. We have been fortunate enough to be able to travel out to Arizona (both Phoenix and Flagstaff) and down to San Diego in the last couple of years for those away games. It was through the generosity of our previous donors that we were able to make those team road trips happen and have some quality team bonding along the way. Reflecting on past years, where we lacked basic and sufficient gear needed to have good quality practices, we have grown quite a bit. A couple of years ago our team equipment consisted of one dozen practice balls, a tee, a set of catcher’s gear, and a set of practice bases. After bringing on coaching staff and receiving donations, our team equipment now consists of about 3 dozen practice balls, a net, a couple dozen wiffle balls, a set of catcher’s gear, a couple of team bats and some agility cones. We hope to continue to grow the program and what equipment the team has available for their use as we continue to establish a name for ourselves.
As a growing organization, our main financial priorities are ensuring that our team is provided with comfortable travel, quality playing fields, and sufficient and reliable equipment. Our team has pushed through the years of having the bare minimum and is becoming a more well established organization that continues to work hard to establish a name for itself. As a part of this growing process we aim to solidify a lasting foundation for future Club Softball Bruins that we hope will ultimately take our program to the NCSA World Series in Georgia. Your contribution, however much, will help us toward achieving these goals! Your kind and generous support is very much appreciated. Go Bruins!
If you'd like to read more about our programs growth, take a look at this article courtesy of The Daily Bruin!
Check us out on our instagram @uclaclubsoftball to meet our coaches and players and follow our season!