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Mar '09 23

SportAccord provides great Opportunity for Softball

Press Release International Softball Federation, ISF

SportAccord provides great Opportunity for Softball to prove Olympic Pedigree

ISF President: “Softball is having a great impact on communities around the world”

Denver, Colorado (USA); 23rd March 2009: International softball representatives are arriving in Denver for the annual SportAccord convention – perhaps the greatest opportunity this year to convince Olympic Family decision-makers and opinion formers that softball should return to the Olympic Programme in 2016.

Members of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the Association of Winter Olympic International Sports Federations (AWOIF) and other senior sports administrators including International Olympic Committee Members will be present to discuss the key issues facing the sports industry, including those sports to be included in the Olympic Games in 2016.

The softball delegation, including ISF President Don Porter, Task Force Co-Chairs Ms. Donna de Varona and Dale McMann (ISF VP/North America), ISF Deputy Secretary General Ms. Low Beng Choo, and ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak, will also be undertaking a number of high level meetings to highlight softball’s Olympic credentials.

ISF President Don Porter, who was formerly GAISF Secretary General and has given the organization years of service, said, “Softball is a truly international sport and we will show SportAccord delegates the great work we’re doing around the world.  The number of young women taking up softball in Africa and the Middle East, for example, is truly inspiring and we’ll be demonstrating to delegates what a positive impact our sport is having on them and their communities.”

BackSoftball Athlete Ambassadors Michele Smith and Jessica Mendoza will also be on hand to meet delegates and convey how successful last year’s Olympic competition was at Fengtai Softball Field in Beijing.  High ticket sales, impressive broadcast figures – particularly in Japan, whose team beat the USA in the gold medal game – and the continued excellent record of no positive doping results in elite competition provides a compelling case for softball’s return to Olympic competition.

During SportAccord, the draw will also be conducted for the two pools for the Easton Foundation Youth Softball World Cup to be held in Prague in August, when 12 international 16-and-under girls teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe will be taking part.  This is another significant event that underlines the popularity of softball among young people because it is inexpensive to play, easy to learn, and great fun.

The International Softball Federation attends SportAccord every year to promote the great work it is doing in expanding the sport to new audiences around the world, and this year has increased its profile to that of an exhibitor.

A final decision on which sports will be added to the current roster of 26 at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be made at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen in October this year.

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