From the Belgium Softball Division Website:
At the request of the International Olympic Committee, the International Softball Federation has been working on putting together sporting goods to stimulate participation in Haiti, which suffered two deadly earthquakes last year. A total of 200 kits containing equipment for various sports were assembled and packed at the ISF’s world headquarters in Plant City, Florida (USA), and are now in transit, expected to arrive in Haiti next week.
The ISF has extensive experience in this area, having shipped softball equipment valued at over USD$3 million dollars to approximately 100 countries since 2002. Furthermore, the ISF has also responded to past natural disasters. In 2005 the world governing body offered to replace softball items lost by member federations as a result of the tsunami in Southeast Asia. The year before, softballs, bats, and fielder’s gloves were sent to Yap after a typhoon ravaged that island. The Haitian disaster in 2010 saw Dominican Republic Softball Federation President Luis Mejia, in his role as president of that country’s National Olympic Committee, lead relief efforts to donate food and medicine. In October the IOC announced plans to build a multi-sports development center in Haiti, the second such facility in the IOC’s “Sports For Hope Program.”
SOFTBALL IN WORLDWIDE REMEMBRANCE OF HAITI TRAGEDY
PLANT CITY, FLORIDA (USA) — The International Softball Federation is among the countless organizations and individuals keeping Haiti in its thoughts as the one-year anniversary passes since two deadly earthquakes hit there last year.
“It’s not old news because so many people there are still dealing with the after effects today,” said ISF President Don Porter. “Being based in Florida, we know – unfortunately – all too well about disasters and how they impact the lives of so many. Between Hurricane Katrina and, more recently, the oil spill in the Gulf, we’ve been fairly close to some forms of devastation right here at home. It’s important that all people and all industries continue to look for ways to help in recovery.”
On her Twitter account, two-time Olympic softball medalist Jennie Finch (USA, gold – 2004 & silver – 2008) tweeted yesterday, “1 yr since the horrific tragedy in Haiti. Please keep Haiti in prayer!”
The ISF president noted a shipment that is currently en route to Haiti, expected to arrive there next week, containing sporting goods hoped to stimulate activity among those whose spirits are down and resources likely gone or limited.
“The International Olympic Committee asked us to assemble and pack 200 kits here at our world headquarters, so that this equipment can get into the hands of the people of Haiti at a time when sport can be used to truly unite people,” he said. “With our experience from sending over (USD)$3 million worth of softball equipment to almost 100 countries around the world since 2002, we were ready to answer the IOC’s call and pleased to be a part of such a meaningful project.
“I know I speak for the worldwide softball community when I say that hopefully next January we will continue to remember the victims, but celebrate great progress in Haiti’s recovery.”
At the bottom of this release are pictures of what the Haitians will receive in the IOC’s shipment that was facilitated by the ISF.
About the ISF
The ISF is the world governing body of the sport as recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations). Softball (women’s fast pitch) made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. There are 127 affiliated countries in the ISF and millions of participants in the sport worldwide.
MEDIA: For more information, please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak at brucew@ISFsoftball.org or (813) 864-0100, ext. 229.