roster & staff 2009
Softball not included in Olympic recommendation!
BERLIN (Germany) - During a meeting in Berlin (Germany), the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday recommended golf and rugby sevens to be included in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Softball and baseball were also amongst the seven candidates, as were karate, roller sports and squash.
During the IOC Session in Copenhagen (Denmark), the full IOC, including all National Olympic Committees, can cast their vote whether or not to include golf and/or rugby sevens for the 2016 Olympic Games for which Chicago (USA), Madrid (Spain), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Tokyo (Japan) are the candidate cities.
The last years, the International Softball Federation (ISF) worked hard to get softball reistated into the Olympic Games and back on the Olympic Programme for the Games of 2016.
During the World Junior Championships 2007 in Enschede (Netherlands), the ISF launched the BackSoftball-campaign to get softball back into the Olympic Games, after the sport was dropped (as was baseball) during the IOC Congress of 2005 in Singapore.
In November 2008, the ISF named 12 softball-players from around the world as Athlete Ambassadors, who were going to support the BackSoftball-campaign.
One of the Athlete Ambassadors is Dutch National Team-player Saskia Kosterink.
During the recent Canada Cup in Surrey (Canada) and World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City (USA), Saskia addressed the spectators, together with Danielle Stewart of Australia, talking about the growth of softball worldwide, the doping-free status and get everyone's support the regain the Olympic status.
In June of this years, all seven candidate sports made a presentation for the Executive Board at the IOC's Headquarters in Lausanne (Switzerland).
Representatives of the BackSoftball-campaign arrived in Berlin on Tuesday as part of this crucial week in the efforts for the sport's reinstatement onto the Olympic Games Programme in 2016.
ISF President Don Porter arrived from Prague (Czech Republic), where he attended the opening of the Easton Foundation Youth Softball World Cup, which features eleven age 16-and-under teams from five continents.
Other members included BackSoftball Task Force co-chairs Donna De Varona (two-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming) and Dale McMann (ISF Vice President North America from Canada), Athlete Ambassadors Gergana Handjiyska (Bulgaria) and Rubilena Rojas (Venezuela) and ISF Deputy Secretary General Mr. Low Beng Choo (Malaysia).
After arriving in Berlin, Don Porter stated: ,,We believe we have a compelling case as we continue to promote sport in developing communities around the world, with a particular focus on women and young people; and continue to engender the principles of fair play, respect, and clean sport.
In this era of global recession it is vital that the IOC choose a sport that is non-elitist, easy to play, affordable, and can be played almost anywhere. Softball is that sport.''
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Following the decision by the IOC Executive Board on Thursday not to include softball for recommendation to be voted upon during the IOC Session in October, ISF-President Don Porter issued the following statement:
,,The ISF and wider softball family is certainly disappointed by today's decision by the IOC Executive Board not to recommend softball for reinstatement onto the Olympic Games Programme in 2016.
However, we respect the IOC's decision and I tip my cap to golf and rugby for getting recommended and offer mu sentiments to the other four sports that were not successful today.
The ISF has worked tirelessly for more than four years since we were voted off the 2012 Olympic Programme and we have made tremendous advances in that time.
Softball has more players, a long list of member federations, a more solid and appropriate organizational framework, and development programs that are producing phenomenal results on every continent.
Our anti-doping record is second to none and our culture and aspirations blend perfectly with the values that the IOC seeks to promote.
For softball, reinstatement tot the Olympic Games would have been the catalyst for further sustainable global growth, demonstrating the power of the Games.
Softball players continue to dream of Olympic gold, the ultimate prize in our sport, and we will carry on our campaign for Olympic reinstatement to prove to the IOC that our sport fits with Olympic values and ambitions and deserves a place on merit on the Games Programme.''
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In a press release, the International Olympic Committee stated that ,,the IOC Executive Board proposed today the list of 26 core sports and two additional sports, golf and rugby, to be included in the 2016 Olympic Programme.
The proposal will be submitted to the full IOC for a final decision at its Session in Copenhagen in October, where golf and rugby will have the opportunity to present.
The secret ballot vote by the Executive Board followed an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission of the potential added value to the Games from each of the seven sports.
,,All seven sports made a strong case for inclusion, and the EB carefully evaluated them in a transparent and fair process. In the end, the decision came down to which two would add the most value'', said IOC President Jacques Rogge, who elected not to take part in the vote. ,,Golf and rugby will be a great addition to the Games.''
The key factors in determining a sport's suitability for the Olympic programme include youth appeal, universality, popularity, good governance, respect for athletes and respect for the Olympic values.
,,Golf and rugby scored high on all the criteria'', Rogge said. ,,They have global appeal, a geographically diverse line-up of top iconic athletes and an ethic that stresses fair play.''
During the 119th Session in Guatemala in 2007, the IOC approved a simplified voting process for new sports to enter the programme. The IOC members also resquested guidance from the EB in the selection of the new sports, and entrusted it to make a proposal based on the work of the Olympic Programme Commission.