Since Friday, February 6th until Sunday, February 8th the European Softball Federation (ESF) is holding its annual congress in Lausanne, Switzerland. On the second day André van Overbeek from the Netherlands was elected as new president of the ESF. He succeeds Mike Jennings from Great Britain, who was at the top of the federation since 2003.
Van Overbeek was the lone candidate, after Jennings and the Belgian Jacques Reinenbergh withdraw before the election. Van Overbeek is currently the head of Softball in the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation. He is the third Dutch ESF president after Theo Vleeshhouver (1985-1991) and Jos Gieskens (1995-2003).
The Congress members also elected the Italian Totoni Sanna as new 1st vice president of the ESF. He follows Robert Milosavljevic (CRO). Sanna was one of five vice presidents until Saturday. In addition Secretary General Patrice Bienfait (FRA, since 1993) and Treasurer Eddy van Straelen (BEL, since 2007) were reelected for the next term.
The president of the International Softball Federation (ISF) Don Porter was invited to the Congress as a guest. He and the ISF seek independent Softball federations, which means in Europe, separation from Baseball. The majority of the European Softball community is against these plans.