“This recognition by South Africa’s highest-ranking sporting leaders shows how baseball and softball continue to break new ground in Africa and evolve into a major global sport that will add value to the Olympic programme wherever the Games are staged.” – Riccardo Fraccari, WBSC President 

Softball South Africa (SSA) has been named South Africa’s 2018 National Federation of the Year — the highest distinction a National Sports Federation can achieve in the country under Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Softball, roller sports and gymnastics were the three finalists in the category of National Federation of the Year at the 13th Annual South African Sports Awards in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The top federation award is based “on growing and developing sport in schools in the Republic of South Africa,” recognising softball’s universal popularity and appeal to young people, which has been given a recent boost in South Africa — and around the world — due to baseball and softball’s upcoming Olympic return at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“This is a historic milestone for softball in South Africa,” said SSA President Mashilo Matsetela. “Even as the world becomes more digital, the sport of softball continues to appeal to both young people and school officials in South Africa and worldwide because it’s a stimulating activity that promotes leadership skills and teamwork within the same environment.”

World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari said:

“Congratulations to Softball South Africa and President Matsetela. This tremendous honour reflects SSA’s successful strategy to target youth and grow the sport of softball in South Africa.

“Having held the WBSC Congress in Botswana last year, where softball is hugely popular, we are delighted to see that enthusiasm for the sport is spreading to neighbouring South Africa.”