KUWAIT CITY, Dec 13: The Kuwait Baseball and Softball Challenger Little League (KBSC) held its opening ceremony for the winter season Saturday under the auspices of Sheikh Dhari Al Sabah and with the attendance of the US Ambassador Douglas Silliman, Japanese Ambassador Takashi Asiki as well as representative from South Korean Embassy First Secretary Cho Jaehyun. Now under new management, the KBSC Little league winter season opening got under way with the MC saying that “We are proud and especially grateful to be officiating yet another season of the great international pastime of baseball right here in Kuwait”, adding that with every new season they aim to achieve new milestones aimed at improving the facilities and the overall experience of members.
Through an amazing level of supportive sponsors and dedicated volunteers, the facilities have undergone some serious renovations with more to follow. New grass has been planted in all fields together with new trees and flowers in the common areas. The batting cages have been expanded to improve usage. There have been locally fabricated portable pitching mounds and bases making the league’s Diamonds appreciate the multiple divisions of baseball. On the player front, the new management board will continue to select and develop All-Star teams for tournament play which has been built by years of development.
Last summer the All-Stars in selected divisions performed superbly in Dubai with five teams coming home almost completely undefeated after facing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia UAE, Bahrain, Australia and Singapore. If these weren’t triumphant enough, the league is proud to state the fact that in the past, the Kuwait Majors teams had travelled to Kotnuo, Poland to partake in the regional Little League championships and on two occasions came in second place. In 2005 the league sent a Kuwait team to South Carolina Myrtle Beach to represent Kuwait in the Cal Ripken Tournament during which the team was successful in winning the lower tear championship.
In July this year, the under-12 All- Stars travelled to Daytona Beach, Florida to represent Kuwait in the Youth Baseball National Tournament which was an amazing and a driving force behind improving the players’ competitive edge. KBSC boasts players from over 22 different nationalities, representing the international nature of the league. The Girls Softball players were called upon to recite the Little League pledge. Lulu from the Challenger Division also recited the pledge in English. The coaches lined up with Coach Randy reciting the pledge. Sheikh Dhari Fahad Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, chairman of the board of the Equestrian Club was mentioned for some special thanks for his unwavering support of baseball in Kuwait.
As a non-profit organization, KBSC Little League survives on the fantastic volunteers, coaches and the generosity of sponsors. This year, the KBSC Little League will recognize all of its amazing and fantastic sponsors during the season’s closing ceremony. Ambassador Silliman, invited to say a few words to the players, chose to recite a poem written by Ernest Thayer titled “Casey at the Bat”. Finally, Sheikh Dhari Al Sabah, whose father, Martyr Sheikh Fahad Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, for whom the wonderful play ground is named, received a standing ovation for making the use of the facility possible. He received a plaque of honor. The summer travel team sponsors, Deloitte and Quality Net also came in for some thanks for their generous contribution without which the League wouldn’t have been able to field a team in Daytona. Ambassadors Silliman and Asiki along with South Korean Embassy representative Cho Jaehyun all took turns to receive their plaques of appreciation. Sheikh Dhari, Ambassador Silliman and Ambassador Asiki took turns to throw the first pitch after which all guests stood up to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to close proceedings for the day.
By Iddris Seidu Arab Times Staff