LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the world's governing body for baseball and softball, will be promoting the celebration of World Softball Day 2014 all around the globe and among its 141 National Federation members on Friday, June 13th.
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.
For World Softball Day 2014, the WBSC will be encouraging 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.
The newly elected WBSC officials have already confirmed they will study the potential implementation dates of a World Baseball Day and a World Baseball Softball Day.
Social Media Drive
Those taking part in World Softball Day around the globe will be encouraged not only to celebrate softball on June 13th but also to share their experience with the world via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the official hashtag #WorldSoftballDay.
The WBSC Twitter account -- @WBSC_co -- will be actively retweeting the "best of" World Softball Day quotes, posts, images throughout the day. The WBSC Facebook page will be sharing posts for further engagement.
"World Softball Day will keep our sport evolving and strengthen the connection with millions of young people everywhere and with today's youth culture, which is increasingly mobile and digital," said Low and McMann.
The announcement of World Softball Day 2014 comes only days after WBSC officials hailed the birth of the Francophone Association of Baseball Softball, which targets growth in a network of 77 French-speaking territories and nearly 900 million people worldwide, and which media experts feel will serve "to boost [WBSC's] Olympic Bid."