LSA cherishes the preceding year
2006 is the year Limpopo Softball Association (LSA) will live to cherish after they secured a whopping R1,1 million sponsorship from LimDev, the Limpopo parastatal, in August.
The sponsorship came in handy for LSA who have been struggling to run their affairs effectively with the R180 000 they had been receiving yearly from their long-time backers, the South African Breweries.
The new sponsorship, which is spread for three seasons, was welcomed by LSA's clubs who are now subsidised for transport to their matches for the first time in the history of the Super League.
Though the termination of the beer company's sponsorship resulted into the demise of the once-popular Classic event, it is good to see that there are people who are keen to sponsor competitions for LSA's clubs.
Matsawa Tema, director of Lebowa Funeral Parlour, should be commended for staging the Lebowa Funeral Softball Celebration Tournament in August and has revealed that they intended to stage the event yearly.
The inaugural competition, which was staged as part of the undertakers' 30th anniversary celebrations, was a roaring success.
It was won by Lebowakgomo Wildbeasts who beat neighbours Mamaolo Rebels 6-2 in the final in Seshego on November 25.
There is also the yearly Kitso Technologies Top 8 Tournament and LSA's president Guillo "S'Dumo" Marapyane said they had been receiving good response from various companies who are keen to sponsor more competitions.
The second round of the LSA Super League is also bound to attract more people and not only from Limpopo.
This after LSA decided to stage matches of the second round, mostly on Saturdays.
LSA succumbed to pressure from some of the parents of the players to bring their matches forward to enable their children enough time to rest on Sundays.
Playing on Saturdays will be convenient for players and spectators who are based outside Limpopo as they will have enough time to relax before traveling long distances back to their respective areas.
The past year also saw major changes at Softball South Africa (SSA), the country's national governing body, in terms of office bearers.
Marapyane was elected new SSA president in September, replacing the veteran administrator, Matthews Kutumela.
Kutumela decided not to stand for re-elections to give young blood a chance to lead SSA.
Western Province Softball Federation's boss Noore Nacerodien and his counterpart at Central Gauteng, Basil Peters, were elected first and second presidents, respectively.
Mesh Matsitela was retained as the treasurer, Denise Paulsen was elected general secretary and Johnny Mienaar got the position of the marketing officer.
The hard working Nompendulo Msi was elected development officer, Colleen Lowery is in charge of public participation and athletes' commissions and Andre Wessels is taking care of provincial affairs.
They have also pledged to develop and sustain softball in provinces where the ball game is not popular or dead.
SSA's development drive got a shot in the arm in a form of a R560 000 they received from the National Lottery Board in September.
They will use the money to buy equipment and conduct clinics in areas where the sport is dead. SSA has identified Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape as their starting points for developing softball.
Marapyane and his team are also facing a difficult task of securing a sponsorship for the national championship that has been running without a sponsor for the past 16 years.