WBSC assures it will look for ways to develop baseball in the Pacific
President of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), Riccardo Fraccari has assured representatives from the Oceania Regions that the WBSC will look into ways to develop the sport around the Pacific nations region including American Samoa. His remarks were made after the Oceania Regional Baseball meeting held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.
The meeting discussed some of the issues pertaining to the development of baseball around the Pacific Islands, including the very limited resources to help upgrade baseball fields and help to fund programs to develop the sport in schools.
President of the Baseball Association in American Samoa, J. Victor Langkilde arrived back home Monday morning, and Samoa News was able to get an exclusive interview with him pertaining to the meeting and its impact on American Samoa’s baseball program.
Langkilde explained that Fraccari is a world sports administrator, who holds various high-ranking positions, most notably as President of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).
He said that after a successful campaign and bid to get the sport of baseball and softball back onto the Olympic program, specifically Tokyo 2020, Fraccari decided to immediately visit some of the regions and learn specifically how WBSC can help develop baseball and softball in these regions.
“Fraccari’s visit to Oceania regions last weekend provided an opportunity to discuss and analyze the region’s facilities, programs, and other tools needed to advance baseball and softball sport development amongst the region and its countries.
“Another purpose of the visit was to review the status of the region’s efforts to merge baseball and softball federations into one governing body,” said Langkilde.
He said he explained to Fraccari that the American Samoa Baseball has challenges that need to be addressed, such as very limited funding to support the sport — for example for a baseball field that needs to be upgraded to proper and qualified playing standard, for baseball development programs, and funds to pay for a team travel to regional and international competitions.
“Fraccari was very concerned with the issues each country in Oceania shared, and is very focused on providing what is necessary to help the continental and country federations with the idea of also getting baseball and softball in other countries across the region,” Langkilde said. “Fraccari wants to see that each member country has a chance to develop and compete regionally and internationally.”
Langkilde said that Fraccari is adamant in helping Baseball and Softball at all levels in Oceania like he has done at the highest level across the world, and since overseeing the establishment of the WBSC, Fraccari has elevated the new world ruling body to be considered among the top 30 “Ultimate Sports Federations” in the world, and he has also expanded international Baseball properties to include a new flagship world tournament, the WBSC Premier 12 Professional Baseball National Team Championship, and also the Under-12 Baseball World Cup and the Under-23 Baseball World Cup.
“With the help from WBSC, American Samoa Baseball is looking forward to further develop its baseball program, compete in the regional tournaments for a chance to go to the world championships, and hopefully make its dream of qualifying for the Olympics a reality.
“American Samoa Baseball expresses its heartfelt gratitude to WBSC President Fraccari for coming to Oceania,” Langkilde concluded.
“Today, the WBSC has 208 National Federation Members in 141 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania. WBSC’s Oceania region is comprised of national federations in Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Guam, Saipan, Palau, New Caledonia, Fiji, Marshall Islands, FSM, Cook Islands, and Samoa,” Langkilde told the Samoa News.