A softball player from Pembrokeshire who set-up Wales’ first Welsh language team is hoping to inspire more women and girls to take up sport regardless of their shape, size or ability.

Angharad Sian Roche, 34, was attracted to the sport seven years ago when she unintentionally came across a game while walking through Pontcanna Fields in Cardiff. Despite having never played softball before, Angharad was instantly drawn to the “relaxed but fun vibe” and it wasn’t long before she signed up to join a team.

After playing for her local team, the Hammers, for four years, the fluent Welsh speaker longed to use her native tongue and so became a founding member of the first ever Welsh-speaking softball team, Teirw’r Taf. 

Angharad, originally from the Fishguard area, is joining forces with Sport Wales on its ‘Our Squad’ campaign aimed at celebrating women and girls who encourage others to adopt a more active lifestyle. The campaign comes as research about female involvement in sports reveals that women and girls often lack the confidence to try new sports.

Discussing her first experience of softball, Angharad said: “I was nervous before my first game because I had never played before but the team was really welcoming.

"When you’re in a team, everybody motivates each other and so you feel at ease straight away. You have an instant common interest and everybody taking part wants every member of the team to enjoy themselves. I absolutely loved playing softball with the Hammers but I really wanted to be a part of a Welsh language team and so when I realised that didn’t exist – I took it upon myself to do something!”  

Now fully established, Teirw’r Taf is one of eleven softball teams that competes in the Cardiff Softball League, with games taking place on Wednesday evenings in Pontcanna fields.

Angharad added: “There is a great social side to being part of a team, we have a really good laugh and everyone gets on. If you move away to a new city, the first thing you should do is join a new team - whatever sport it is - and just give it a go.”

As well as the social element, she credits the other health benefits that softball brings: “It’s hitting a ball and running in short spurts so you don’t have to be Kelly Homes to do it – anyone can get involved."

The ‘Our Squad’ campaign aims to inspire and empower women and girls across Wales to give a more active lifestyle a go. For information on how to get involved and be a part of ‘Our Squad’ visit www.oursquad.cymru.