International Softball Federation (ISF) President Don Porter, in Beijing to promote the BackSoftball campaign to get the sport reinstated at the 2016 Summer Games, visited the Sun Village charity project Monday in the rural part of the city to donate softball equipment and promote the sport’s reinstatement in the Olympics.
Porter handed our softballs, bats, gloves and field equipment to the children and invited them to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Olympic venue on Thursday.
The Sun Village Project in the Shunyi district of the rural suburbs of Beijing looks after more than 100 children whose parents have been imprisoned. The Rotary Club of Beijing supports the project and a team of volunteers provide education and support to the children, who, according to a media release, “would otherwise struggle to have a positive start in life”.
Porter said, “China has given everyone working for the BackSoftball campaign a wonderful welcome and with the tickets for the Olympic Softball tournament having sold out a while back, perhaps some of these children will be inspired to compete after watching Thursday’s game if we’re successful in getting the sport reinstated onto the Olympic program in 2016”.
Softball was cut from the Olympics after missing out by only one vote for the London 2012 Games at the 2005 session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).