Players instruct youth players
The players and coaches of the Netherlands National Softball Team today participated in the Olympic Moves, which is the biggest school sports tournament in the Netherlands.
This took place at the Nol Houtkamp Sportcomplex in Haarlem, the site of the World Championship, which wil be held August 15-24.
Today, several games were played by school-teams, who from throughtout the country to Haarlem.
There were teams from Drachten, Apeldoorn, Heeswijk-Dinter, Made, IJmuiden and Zoetermeer to name a few.
The players of the Netherlands Team gave clinics and instructions, but also acted as coaches of the several teams.
Today, was the Olympic Moves final day of the softball tournaments which were organized by the KVLO, the association for physical education teachers.
Another activity today took place in the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, but the softball finals were held in Haarlem.
A total of 6000 finalists participated in the closing event of Olympic Moves.
Twelve teams participated in the softball-event, which were girl teams of secondary eduation schools.
Cobus Oosting coordinated the softball-tournament, which was held at the complex where the World Championship Softball will take place for the first time in Europe.
Today's activities coincided with the celebration of World Softball Day, which will be held annually on June 13.
The creation of World Softball Day was inspired by Olympic Day, which is celebrated annually on June 23rd and the June 13th announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1991 that women's softball was to be, for the first time in history, included on the Olympic programme, with its debut performance at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta (USA).
The World Baseball Softball Confederation, the world's governing body for baseball and softball, annually encourages all its national federations and individuals of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to participate in softball activity as part of a global initiative to put softball at the service of society to promote heath, physical activity, social integration and international spirit, as well as to inspire future generations of boys and girls to seek excellence and become empowered through sport, and through softball.
,,World Softball Day will be a time of celebration to promote the idea that anybody in the world can become active in sport'', said WBSC Secretary General Ms. Beng Choo Low.
,,And that softball can serve as an attractive option for sport because it can be enjoyed almost anywhere and by children as young as two years of age to those beyond their eighties.''
WBSC officials indicate that the World Softball Day 2014 has been set up to "boost awareness" -- particularly during the Olympic Agenda 2020 review on the formation of the Olympic Programme -- that softball, along with baseball, serves as a common bond for millions of people from diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds in more the 140 nations around the world -- and especially young people and females -- to participate in sport and to make sport increasingly relevant to them.
,,With World Softball Day 2014, WBSC will continue building baseball/softball's position together as one of the world's leading and most inclusive, gender-balanced global sports'', added WBSC Executive Vice-President Dale McMann.
(photos made by Paul Boonstra)