Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Softball reps in Berlin for IOC decision
Berlin, (Germany); 11th August 2009: Representatives of the BackSoftball campaign have arrived in Berlin as part of the most crucial week in the efforts for the sport’s reinstatement onto the Olympic Games Programme in 2016.
International Softball Federation President Don Porter arrived from Prague, where he attended the opening of the Easton Foundation Youth Softball World Cup, which features eleven (age) 16-and-under girls teams from five continents competing in a fast pitch tournament.
Other members of the team to arrive include BackSoftball Task Force co-chairs Donna De Varona (two-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming) and Dale McMann (ISF VP/North America, from Canada); Athlete Ambassadors Gergana Handjiyska (Bulgaria) and Rubilena Rojas (Venezuela), and ISF Deputy Secretary General Ms. Low Beng Choo (Malaysia).
The ISF president said, “This is a monumental moment for softball – and an opportunity for the International Olympic Committee to back our sport, which has done so much to promote the values of the Olympic movement.
“We believe we have a compelling case as we continue to promote sport in developing communities around the world, with a particular focus on women and young people; and continue to engender the principles of fair play, respect, and clean sport.
“In this era of global recession it is vital that the IOC choose a sport that is non-elitist, easy to play, affordable, and can be played almost anywhere. Softball is that sport.”
This Thursday, August 13, the IOC Executive Board is expected to decide which two of the seven candidate sports for the 2016 Olympics it will recommend to the full IOC Session for a vote in October in Copenhagen.
Softball was first featured in the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and last year’s competition in Beijing was very successful with a total attendance close to 180,000 and a continuation of the sport’s excellent record of no positive doping tests at any of the four Summer Olympics that the sport has been a part of. - ATR