Press Release World Baseball Softball Confederation
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari welcomed news that the House of Switzerland — a project under the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs — today broke ground on a baseball legacy project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Consulate General of Switzerland, following the disassembly of the Swiss national house in Rio, Switzerland will modernise and upgrade the baseball field at Lagoa, which is overseen by Carioca Baseball and Softball Federation — affiliate of the Confederation of Brazilian Baseball and Softball (CBBS).
The House of Switzerland — which presents the assets of the country for instance in the fields of innovation, tradition, sport design and solidarity — were welcomed tenants and headquartered at Rio de Janeiro’s lone baseball training field from the lead-up to the closing of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016.
The scope of the Swiss legacy baseball project includes levelling the playing ground, improving the facilities to state-of-the-art level and correcting the drainage. Per the Swiss Authority, the revamped field should be handed over to the Municipality and the Carioca Baseball and Softball Federation before the end of the year.
Swiss officials indicated that baseball offers healthy and positive athletic opportunities for both boys and girls, such as introducing kids to the fundamentals of sportsmanship, teamwork, dedication and discipline.
“WBSC commends the House of Switzerland and the Consulate General of Switzerland for this exciting post-Games legacy project that will return the baseball field to the local community in a better condition than ever before,” said President Fraccari. “This in the power and spirit of Olympism, touching more youth and shaping a better society for the future. And baseball and softball athletes in Brazil will have this modernised field in this important sports city to train for the 2020 Olympic qualifiers.”
As part of the Swiss legacy, the Consulate General is also supporting a social project called “Beisebol Escolar” (School Baseball) that is dedicated to introducing baseball to youth in Rio de Janeiro and the neighbouring municipalities. The Swiss intervention is expected to double participation numbers in the school programme from 86 boys and girls to approximately 150 in the 2016 academic year.
WBSC will support the House of Switzerland legacy project, supplying development essentials like baseball starter-kits and other teaching materials.
Over the last decade, Brazil has climbed to No. 16 in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings and No. 11 in the WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings.