Home run for softball

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Softball makes its debut at the 24th World Student Games in Thailand next month.

Glen Bentley, president of the South African Student Sports Union (Sassu), confirmed the addition of the sport to the biennial tournament yesterday.

Softball will be one of 12 sporting codes where South Africa will be represented at the Bangkok tournament - where more than 50 countries will participate from August 8 to 18.

In the past, softball had its own championships but the Federation of International University Sports has now added it to the World Student Games.

"We are in the process of finalising all the teams to Thailand and we will be making announcements in drips and drabs, starting this week," Bentley said.

"We will have teams in athletics, swimming, women's soccer, men's basketball, men's and women's volleyball, tennis, table tennis, golf, judo and gymnastics. Men's soccer and women's basketball will not be going to the World Student Games because they did not qualify after faring badly in Turkey in 2005.

"As usual, we will be counting on our athletics and swimming people. They always bring medals home from overseas championships.

"In athletics, I am delighted that we selected the team based on merit for the first time. There were no athletes added because of colour.

"One athlete who really impressed us is Mapaseka Makhanya, who will make her debut in the championships after failing to qualify on two previous occasions."

Though Sassu will only be naming the team next week, Sowetan has reliably learnt that Poppy Mlambo and Tebogo Masehla are bound for Thailand.