The President of the Mexican Baseball Federation (FEMEBE) Enrique Mayorga tagged it as “a strategic alliance”. Ana Guevara, the CEO of the National Commission for Physical Culture and Sport (Comision Nacional de Cultura Fisica y Deporte-CONADE) presented it as a “collaboration agreement” (convenio de colaboración in Spanish).
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and the Government of Mexico will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
CONADE is the arm of the Mexican government charged with fostering and promoting physical education, recreation, and sport.
Ana Guevara, born 1977, is probably the most distinguished athlete in the history of Mexican track and field. She was a superstar in the 400 meters. Guevara won a gold medal in the 2003 World Championship in Paris and a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. In 2008 she retired because of a conflict with the Athletics Federation and she blamed CONADE for not acting rapidly to solve the conflict.
Ana Guevara, the first woman to lead CONADE in the thirty-year history of the Commission, commented: “I am now here and hopefully I won’t see history repeat…”.
Guevara believes her view of sport is “different.”
She said: “I share President Fraccari’s view. Sports need to adjust to our time, if they want to reach the younger generations. But I also believe in the romantic side of sports.”
Why baseball? “Baseball can be an alternative to soccer in Mexico. There’s a lot of talent and a lot of passion for this game in our Country. And last but not least, the President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador is a huge fan and believes a lot in the potential of baseball.”
Guevara continued: “It’s a great honour to have Riccardo Fraccari here. I think we got started in the right way.”
The agreement will be based on three main guidelines. Baseball5 will be introduced on a large scale in Mexico to support the physical education development programmes.
“Baseball5 has a lot of potential. It’s dynamic, simple and will take the kids back to the streets. I played something similar when I was a kid, but unfortunately my generation was the last one to play in the streets. I like a lot the #playeverywhere hashtag” commented Ana Guevara.
WBSC will support the project with educational programmes for coaches and teachers.
Education is the second guideline of the agreement. WBSC envoy instructors will run clinics for coaches, umpires and scorers.
“I very often meet high profile Government officials, but I rarely encounter the knowledge of sport I discovered while discussing with Ana Guevara,” commented WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari “We are thrilled about this agreement. Mexico has the talent, the fans and the venues to be one of the great baseball Countries.”
This leads to the third guideline of the agreement: taking main WBSC competitions to Mexico. The first one will be the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2020.
“We are very much interested in discussing also the organization of the Women’s World Cup. Then we have a dream: seeing the first Baseball5 World Cup happen in our Country” added Guevara.
On a final note, Ana Guevara said: “This is a unique opportunity. We have six years to take baseball in Mexico to a level never reached before.”