BANGKOK - Noore Nacerodien, veteran Cape Town softball administrator, has been appointed by the International Softball Federation to serve as an umpire at the 24th World Student Games which gets under way in Bangkok tomorrow.
Speaking on his arrival in Bangkok in the early hours of yesterday morning, Nacerodien said he was looking forward to his first assignment as an international umpire.
He landed with the last of the three South African Student Sport Union (Sassu) groups that consisted of women's softball, athletics, swimming, golf, table tennis and badminton teams.
Nacerodien, who is also the deputy president of Softball South Africa and leader of the Western Province Softball Federation, graduated as an international umpire in the United States in February.
"I got my ISF licence in February after spending a week in the United States where we attended an international course where 25 umpires throughout the world attended," said Nacerodien.
Nacerodien is now one of the five South African umpires who are accredited by the world softball governing body. The other four are ISF Africa chief umpire Vincent Maoeng, Sello Molotsane, Ashley Makola and Thabo Dikgale.
"I have achieved almost everything in softball, including as a player, coach and manager, but being appointed to umpire at a global international event is a dream come true," said Nacerodien.
"Sello was at the Olympic qualifiers in Italy last year, Thabo at the recent World Junior Women's Championships in Holland and Ashley at the World University Softball Championships last year.
"On the other hand, Vincent has officiated at many international competitions, including the Athens Olympics. It's such a great thing for South Africa to have more international umpires."
Star Hlongwane, an official of Team South Africa softball, said the inclusion of the ball-game in the World Student Games augurs well for the growth of the sport globally.
"The World Student Games is the biggest sporting event after the Olympics. We are confident that softball will grow in leaps and bounds, including in Africa, now that it has been added to the World Student Games by the governing world student sports body."
(Ramatsiyi Moholoa is in Thailand as a guest of Sassu.)
l Also see page 17.