African sports leader appointment raises composition of World Baseball Softball executives to 31% female
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today appointed Gambian sports leader and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member, Beatrice Allen, to vice president of the world governing body of baseball and softball.
The appointment of Allen raises the composition of the WBSC Executive Board to 31% female (4 of 13) and follows WBSC’s recent signing of the International Working Group (IWG) Brighton Plus Helsinki Declaration on Women and Sport. IOC guidelines set a target for at least 20% of decision-making positions to be occupied by women.
Allen was among four new members appointed to the WBSC Executive Board.
“The WBSC is honoured and excited to welcome an experienced and distinguished world sports leader like Beatrice Allen as new WBSC Vice President,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Her knowledge and expertise — from world issues like women in sport and diplomacy to development in Africa — will be a major asset to the WBSC Executive Board and our federation as a whole, as we aim to evolve baseball and softball into a 1 billion-member global sport over the next decade and retain Olympic-status in 2024, 2028 and into the foreseeable future. The WBSC and our 202 National Federations and Associate members across 143 countries have never been as strong, ready or in a better position to realise this shared global vision.”
Allen helped introduce softball in Gambia and spearheaded the establishment of the Gambia Softball Association, where she served as president and remains honorary president. Allen has also served in various high-ranking sports leadership roles, including Chairperson of the Women and Sports of the Association of the National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), 1st Vice President of the National Olympic Committee of Gambia, and in various IOC Commissions, including member of the Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad Rio 2016 and the IOC Women in Sport Commission.
WBSC Vice President Allen said: “WBSC under President Fraccari is very serious about baseball and softball’s international expansion and about the role women can and must play if the vision is to be realised. That’s why it’s a welcomed honour, privilege and responsibility for me to take on this new global challenge with WBSC. I am particularly motivated to work with President Fraccari and the other distinguished members of the WBSC Executive Board to break down barriers and achieve historic new milestones in baseball and softball, and in world sport.”
New WBSC Executive Board
The WBSC has also appointed Panama’s Meliton Sanchez, an IOC Honorary Member, as the WBSC Global Ambassador for Softball, alongside WBSC Global Ambassador for Baseball Antonio Castro of Cuba – son of former Cuban leader Fidel.
Guatemalan IOC Executive Board member Willi Kaltschmitt will continue serving as one of two WBSC Vice Presidents, alongside Vice President Allen.
Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA) leader Tom Peng will serve as the new Baseball Executive Vice President, while USA Softball’s Craig Cress will serve as the new Softball Executive Vice President.
WBSC Executive Board:
- President: Riccardo Fraccari (ITA)
- Secretary General: Beng Choo Low (MAS)
- Vice President: Willi Kaltschmitt (GUA)
- Vice President: Beatrice Allen (GAM)
- Baseball Executive Vice President: Tom Peng (TPE)
- Softball Executive Vice President: Craig Cress (USA)
- Treasurer: Angelo Vicini (SMR)
- Member At-large: Ron Finlay (AUS)
- Member At-large: Paul Seiler (USA)
- Member At-large: Taeko Utsugi (JPN)
- Member At-large: Tommy Velazquez (PUR)
- Athlete Representative for Baseball: Justin Huber (AUS)
- Athlete Representative for Softball: Maria Soto (VEN)
- Global Ambassador Baseball: Antonio Castro (CUB)
- Global Ambassador Softball: Melitón Sánchez (PAN)
The first meeting of the new WBSC Executive Board has been tentatively scheduled for March 2018 in Paris, France.