Monday, 26 October 2009

Softball plans to rebrand after Olympic failure

October 25 - Softball is planning to rebrand with a new logo and a revamped website as it begins to come to terms with its failure to win back its place in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Softball, which was controversially dropped from London 2012, had mounted a strong campaign to regain its place on the programme but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose golf and rugby sevens instead.

Now, at the first Congress of International Softball Federation (ISF) since the decision was announced at the IOC Session in Copenhagen earlier this month, it has unveiled plans to modernise itself.

Don Porter was re-elected as President of the ISF after running unopposed but there were several other changes among the sport's leadership.

These included a new secretary general and various changes among the regional vice-presidents.

In addition, the delegates at the meeting held at Margarita Island in Venezuela approved a constitution that took effect immediately and they awarded two future World Championships.

Low Beng Choo, from Malaysia, was chosen as the ISF’s new secretary general, following elections that took place yesterday.

She was previously the ISF deputy secretary general and replaces America's Andy Loechner, who is retiring having been in the position since 1987.

Two other women from Low's region were among those elected by the congress, including a former Olympic softball coach.

In the five regions, a significant change was made in that each now has two vice-presidents, plus there is a new position called non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean vice-president, a role given to Romell Knowles from the Bahamas.

Canada's Dale McCann and New Zealand's Bob Leveloff were elected as the 1st and 2nd vice-presidents respectively.

South Africa's Guillo Marapjane and Botswana's Marumo Morule were elected as vice-presidents for Africa, E.T. Colvin from the United States for North America, Colombia's Antonio Morales and Venezuela's Jesus Suniaga for Latin America, China's Jiang Xiuyun and Japan's Taeko Utsugi for Asia, Israel's Ami Baran and Holland's Andre van Overbeek for Europe and Australia's Darryl Clout and Guam's Robert J. Steffy for Oceania.

In addition, IOC memebrs Beatrice Allen, from Gambia, and Meliton Sanchez, from Panama, remain as members of the ISF Executive Council.

The newly created constitution – which comes in addition to the standing ISF Administrative Code – will provide for the creation of an ISF Board of Directors and gives a new, forward direction for the world governing body.

Two events were awarded, the 2012 Junior Men's World Championships to Parana in Argentina and the 2013 Men's World Championships to North Shore City in New Zealand.

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