ASC hits a home run
Guillo "S'Dumo" Marapyane, the deputy president of the new Africa Softball Confederation (ASC), reckons the formation of the continental governing body will add the much-needed impetus to softball development in Africa.
The ASC, whose headquarters will be in Lesotho, was launched in the Zambian capital of Lusaka on Saturday amid much fanfare.
Thirteen countries from across the continent are affiliated to the ASC, which was born at the International Softball Federation (ISF) congress in Manila last October.
The countries are South Africa, Zambia, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Uganda and Nigeria.
The ASC is historic in that it is the first body that will exclusively govern the ball game in Africa.
Previously, softball and basketball were governed together by the unpopular African Baseball and Softball Association (Absa).
But this did not satisfy some softball officials who argued that Absa was not treating the two sporting codes fairly.
They raised their concern at the ISF's congress and the world softball governing body endorsed the formation of a single body to run softball on the continent, hence the establishment of the ASC.
"Zambia are hosts of the All Africa Games in 2011 and softball is part of the Games," said Marapyane yesterday.
"I don't have any doubt in my mind that softball on the continent will never be the same after the establishment of this body."
The new executive committee of the ASC, which was elected on Saturday is: Africa Marumo Morule of Botswana (president), Marapyane of South Africa (deputy president), Mmabothobile Shebe of Lesotho (general secretary), Fridah Shiroya of Kenya (treasurer), Ibra Gautche Kalam of Senegal (committee member) and Vincent Maoeng of South Africa (umpire-in-chief).