Laos Baseball National Team honoured by Asia Journalist Association

Laos Baseball National Team honoured by Asia Journalist Association
The Asia Journalist Association Award 2023 was given to Laos for its historic win at the Asian Games as well as its baseball development projects in Cambodia and Myanmar.

The Laos Baseball National Team was honoured with the Asia Journalist Association (AJA) Award for their performance at the Asian Games 2023 where Laos celebrated their first-ever international success on 27 September, beating Singapore, 8-7.

“The Laos Baseball National Team, with unwavering passion and relentless effort, not only embodied the true values of sports by securing their victory in a significant international competition but also instilled great hope among the people," stated the AJA.

The AJA honoured Laos also for "the development of baseball in neighbouring ASEAN countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar" and for their commitment to "human and cultural exchanges".

The AJA Award is presented annually to outstanding Asian people or organizations "that have shone throughout the year".

Previous notable recipients of the Award include Indonesian President Joko Widodo in 2016, Film director Joon-ho Bong in 2019, and actor Hae-il Park in 2022.

The Laos Baseball Softball Federation became a WBSC member at the 2022 Congress.

A lot of credit for baseball's development in Laos goes to Sung-uk Je, a Korean who introduced baseball in 2012. Je organized the first workouts at one of the car parks in the nation's capital, Vientiane.

Je received fundamental support from Man-soo Lee, a former gold-glove catcher and Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) League MVP. Lee established a foundation to support baseball in Laos and donated baseball equipment worth US$8,800.

In February 2021, six teams participated in the First Republic of Korea Ambassador's Cup Lao Baseball Championship.

The same year, the first-ever baseball stadium opened in Vientiane. The project started thanks to a US$300,000 donation by the DGB Financial Group. Other grants came from organizations and companies, which helped with the instalment of a scoreboard. Various baseball players committed to the construction work that lasted almost two months and required heavy shifts from 8 am until 6 pm.

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