POSTED: Sunday June 14th 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ISF PRESIDENT: â€œSOFTBALL SET TO BENEFIT THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT IN 21st CENTURYâ€
Don Porter â€“ â€œA vote for softball is a vote for the Olympic values that the IOC promotes across the worldâ€
Lausanne, (Switzerland); 14th June 2009: International Softball Federation President Don Porter has urged the International Olympic Committee to reinstate softball to the Olympic Programme to help meet Olympic challenges in the 21st century.
Mr. Porter is part of the delegation that includes Olympic softball athletes Michele Smith (Team USA, gold medals in 2000 & 1996), Jessica Mendoza (Team USA, 2004 – gold, 2008 – silver), Danielle Stewart (Australia, 2008 bronze medal), and Rubilena Rojas (Venezuela, 2008), as softball makes its presentation to the IOC Executive Board here in Lausanne tomorrow (Monday).
The IOC has stressed on a number of occasions that its priorities include the engagement of young people within the Olympic movement, increasing the role of women in sports participation & administration, and doping-free sport.
Mr. Porter declared that softball can complement and even enhance the Olympic values that the IOC seeks to promote in every respect and was eager to underline the benefits softball’s return to the Olympic Programme would bring.
Mr. Porter said, “A vote for softball is a vote for the Olympic values that the IOC promotes across the world. The ISF has made tremendous progress in the last few years, pushing forward our vision of a clean, inclusive, and accessible sport that enriches the lives of tens of millions of people around the world.
“Like the Olympic Movement itself, softball enriches and changes lives, providing an opportunity to enjoy sport for women and young people in areas of the world where it is not always possible. Cheap and simple to play, softball promotes the Olympic values that are so important in today’s world, underscored by its exemplary anti-doping record at the highest level.
“Softball captures the imagination of women and that is perhaps why it has become so popular with women in Muslim countries, for instance, where team sports are not often permissible. And in developing nations, softball is being taken up by children in huge numbers, providing a genuine alternative to the social problems young people tend to encounter in troubled communities.”
Australian Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Stewart said that her experience at Fengtai Softball Field in Beijing last August underlined what softball means to the millions of players around the world.
Ms. Stewart said, “Participating in the Olympic Games has been the pinnacle for softball players around the world and the standard of competition has increased so much, as we saw with Japan’s victory last summer in Beijing. Softball is a positive influence in society on so many levels, but at the elite level the Olympics is the ultimate dream.”
The BackSoftball team in Lausanne will make its presentation to the IOC Executive Board tomorrow (Monday), highlighting the progress and development the sport has made in recent years and the opportunities it provides in under-developed and troubled areas of the world.
Softball was first featured in the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and last year’s competition in Beijing was hugely successful with a total attendance close to 180,000 and a continuation of the sport’s excellent record of no positive doping tests at any of the Olympics since the sport’s debut on the world’s stage 12 years earlier.
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.
Further information is available in the OTHER DOCUMENTS section of www.BackSoftball.com.
For more information please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak at email@example.com, +1 813 864 0100 or +1 8… or David Alexander at David.Alexander@Calacus.com or +44 7802 412424
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Name: Bruce Wawrzyniak
Phone: +1(813) 864-0100
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