JUNE 2 - BACKSOFTBALL, the campaign for the reinstatement of softball onto the Olympic programme in 2016, has received a significant boost as His Royal Highness Prince Feisal, President of the Jordan Olympic Committee, has become the latest high profile representative to join the task force.
Campaigners have not give up all hope that softball and baseball, also of getting the sport reinstated in time for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Prince Feisal accepted the invitation from Don Porter, president of the International Softball Federation (ISF).
It follows the recent creation of the Jordan Softball Federation, it is hoped which will also act as a catalyst for the sport to continue growing throughout the Middle East.
Prince Feisal said, “I have accepted this role because I believe that softball should be an Olympic sport.
"It has many of the values promoted by the Olympic Movement.
"It is inclusive, clean, fun, and very athletic.
"We established the Jordan Softball Federation because I felt the sport was exactly what we needed to get more girls and women engaging in team sports in Jordan and throughout the Middle East.
"After only a few months, it is wonderful to see that, despite religious and social barriers, young girls and boys are playing together in a team sport – many for the first time.”
Prince Feisal attended his first BackSoftball Task Force meeting yesterday in Athens on the eve of the sixth edition of SportAccord, the world’s largest trade show for international sport federations.
The meeting was chaired by Olympian Donna de Varona and Porter.
Among the agenda items were a progress report on the growth of the sport worldwide and an update on the near ticket sellout for all softball games in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Porter said: “It is a great honour for the Olympic sport of softball that Prince Feisal has joined our campaign for our reinstatement onto the Olympic programme in 2016.
"The work His Highness carries out in the development of sport in Jordan is inspirational to everyone in the Olympic Movement.
"I am particularly pleased that softball is helping to open up team sport for women in the Arab world.
“I am convinced that with Prince Feisal’s advice and insights, softball will move closer to regaining our Olympic status.”
– but the sailors praise the new boats