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Sheikh Dhari (third right), Adler (second right), show off their plaques in a group photo with Al-Saoud (first right), and Dr Boujarwah.
KLL lights on fields for 2013/2014 Baseball & Softball season Rain can’t stop annual event

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 13: Even when it rained cats and dogs with the skies still overcast and temperatures hovering in the tens, the Kuwait Little League (KLL) opening ceremony for the 2013/2014 Baseball & Softball Season got underway Friday at the League’s play grounds within the premises of the Hunting & Equestrian Club in Subhan, southwest of Kuwait City. The ceremony held under the auspices of Sheikh Dhari Ahmed AlJaber AlSabah Chairman of the Hunting and Equestrian Club and the Baseball and Softball Committee saw lots of prominent guests and parents attend including Michael Adler-Deputy Head of US mission in Kuwait, KLL executives Saoud AlAyoub-President, Dr Abdulaziz Boujarwah- District Administrator, Suzan Sakeez in charge of media affairs as well as Mercy Boujarwah Safety Officer who also doubled as master of ceremonies moderating the event.

Coaches lined up with their teams at the front gate in preparation for the ceremonial parade which followed the national anthems of Kuwait and the United States and by the color guard. With the color guard dismissed, Mercy Boujarwah offered a quick look into KLL in the past season, saying that this season the league can boast of twenty six teams and almost four hundred players with games facilities always improving. “We now have lights on all fields, the last of which were installed by Musco Lighting, the official Lighting Company of Little League Baseball within the week, thus allowing our very busy coaches more flexibility for practice times”, noted Boujarwah.

KLL boasts players from over twenty different nationalities, attesting to the international nature of the league. Five children bearing five different national flags represented the color guard reciting the KLL Pledge in five different languages including Arabic recited by Saoud Al Saleh from the Majors2 division, Farsi by Huda Rizvani from Softball division, Spanish by Gabriel Sanchez from Minors division, German by Luca Poirier from Majors division and English by Terkey Al Marzouq from Challenger division.
The 2012 creation of the Challenger division in the KLL league was among the KLL’s achievements in the past two years. The Challenger division was created to enable boys and girls 8-13 years of age with physical and developmental challenges participate in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. The children are given an opportunity to have a positive experience in playing in the baseball sport according to their individual abilities.

Michael Adler, Deputy Head of US Mission in Kuwait in his speech stated that the fact that this is an event with players from so many nationalities taking the oath in five different languages shows that Baseball is truly a global sport. He added that as American he recognizes it has unique ties to his country, culture and history. “Similarly, the friendship between Kuwait and the United States is unique, strong, enduring and very special to all of us, so I consider it a great honor to be here today to participate in the opening of the Little League season in this country with which my country has a unique and strong partnership”.

As a non-profit entity the league survives on volunteer work of coaches and sponsors. Representatives of sponsors whose largess gets the league going stronger by the year were called upon to be honored by Mr Adler and Sheikh Dhari who presented them with token gifts of appreciation from KLL. The sponsors include Selem, Agility Logistics, Bioconservacion, Cuz Creations, Gloria Jeans Coffees, KEO, Kefan Optics, ASAR, Mimar, Police Eye Wear/Al-Noor Opticals, NBK, Al Atraf, Al Tamimi Law Firm, Midas Furniture, Wataniya Telecom, Taco Bell, Denise Bakery, Fluor and Vitamin. Sheikh Dahari and the US diplomat were in turn honored with plaques of appreciation for their participation at the ceremony.

A special tribute was paid to Sheikh Dhari AlSabah whose generosity and vision carried forward from his father, Martyr Sheikh Fahad Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah made the use of the facilities possible. The KLL play fields are named after Martyr Sheikh Fahad Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah. Sheikh Dari Al-Sabah for his part expressed his gratitude for the huge attendance at the ceremony despite the rainy weather, adding that “My doors are always open to address any issues relating to KLL and I hope in the next international tournament the kids are going all the way to the final to bring home the trophy”. Flanked by KLL executives Dr. Abdulaziz Boujarwah, Mr. Saoud AlAyoub and Mrs. Mercy Boujarwah, Mr. Adler and Sheikh Dhari took turns to throw the first pitch after which the 2013/2014 games were declared open for players to “Play Ball”.

By Iddris Seidu
Arab Times Staff


By: Iddris Seidu

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