Canterbury Tales - Staff Softball Team
Summer Softball Smashes Team-Building Out of the Park
If you happened to be walking by The Park on a Tuesday evening during the summer months you may have seen an IT staff member catching a pop-fly, or witnessed a medical graduate student sprinting to first base.
You would definitely have heard dugout cheering, and seen a mid-inning pitcher’s mound pep-talk, and lots of high-fives.
(Photo: The Canterbury Tales softball team — left to right: Randy Canterbury, MD; front row: Patti Reynard, Heather McCoy, Chris Lawson, Robin LeGallo, MD; second row: Mary O’Leary, Erika Jiral, Ashley Ayers, Chris Branin; back row: John Densmore, MD, Matt Dickerson, Mike Marquardt, Ray Nedzel. Team members not picture: Troy Buer, Matt Darring, Brad Haws, Jonathon Neel, Matt White, Aniseh Burtner, Sibyl Hale, Jen Marks, MD, Janet Small, Carrie Marquardt.)
The “Canterbury Tales” formed a co-rec softball team for the summer as a way to build sportsmanship and fellowship, as well as to have some fun.
We talked with Mary O’Leary, Executive Assistant to the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and “Team Manager,” to learn a little bit more about this fun experience. “Matt Dickerson, IT and Classroom Support for the School of Medicine, played rec for years,” says O’Leary. “We both knew of this league and thought about putting together a softball team as part of Medical Education Team Building.
Matt agreed to be our coach and we enlisted players from the Medical Education staff, as well as from the Dean’s office. Dr. Randy Canterbury, Senior Associate Dean for Education, generously offered to be our sponsor. He even received a team uniform deeming him ‘Owner’ in gratitude.”
Every Tuesday evening at The Park, from May to July, The Canterbury Tales played against other rec teams within the league and fellow UVA staff. The season culminated with playoffs at the end of July.
O’Leary says that they all hope to continue the tradition next year. She reflects on some of the highlights of the season, mentioning slides into home base and epic plays in the outfield. “We had quite a following. Other staff, faculty, family members and medical students came to watch us play and cheer us on,” says O’Leary. “We even had a picnic early in the season for the team, fans and family members.
The season was great and it was really fun to see our skills progress with the season. “Many of us would go to Buffalo Wild Wings after the games and either celebrate or bemoan our games. We had a fantastic time! It was a great opportunity to meet others in the School of Medicine and to build camaraderie. You really do become bonded with your fellow teammates.”
Congratulations on your great season, Canterbury Tales! It’s always nice to hear of UVA employees going outside of the workplace to help build team spirit.