Regardless of the result, we will look back on this event as the turning point for African Baseball.
It's no secret that sporting talent is well distributed among Africans, both at home on the continent and in the diaspora
The Lagos State Baseball and SoftBall Association has affirmed it readiness to develop the game in the State through Grassroots development .
Could Nigeria be baseball's next hotbed? Two local youth baseball coaches believe so, and are part of a grass-roots effort to grow the game there.
Nigeria, the West African country you would not normally associate with Baseball of Softball has been working hard to develop the sports in that populous country.
Baseball was first introduced into Nigeria between 1960 and 1966 by the American Peace Corps but died when 1966 a Civil War broke and the Peace Corps were forced to exit Nigeria. However, a group of Nigerians came together in 1989 to introduce the sports of baseball and softball by forming a federation called the Nigerian Baseball and Softball Association, NBSA.
The NBSA was incorporated and has since been working cordially with many international and national sporting groups such as the World Little League, International Baseball Federation, International Softball Federation, the Nigerian Olympic Committee and other governmental Sports bodies at the national and state levels. At the continental level, Baseball and Softball were accepted by the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa and they became medal sports through the efforts of the African Baseball and Softball Association, Minna, Nigeria.
Nigeria won silver medals in the All Africa Games, AAg, in 1999 and 2003 and by this Nigeria was only second to South Africa in the whole of Africa. The basic aim of NBSA is to encourage and propagate youth development, character building, spirit of competition and patriotism using sports. We believe this could be achieved through volunteers serving their various communities with dedication and transparency which are ideals for which baseball and softball had stood all over the world. It is our hope that our activities will also create scholarships and professional opportunities locally and internationally for the young players.
Baseball and softball were in the National Sports Festival in Edo (2002), Abuja (2004), Gateway (2006) and KADA (2010). National Sports Festival is the most popular national games in the country sponsored fully by the government. But unfortunately baseball and softball have been delisted from the last two national games, a development that must have come from the delisting of the sports also from the All Africa Games and the Olympics. It became a general frustration for all our players and officials. NBSA has organized many competitions in 3 main age categories since 1989 in both baseball and softball enjoying robust participation from teams located in different cities of the federation. These age categories are Under-12 Years, Under-16 years and Senior for players above the age of 16 years.
Today baseball and softball are played in the following states of the federation. Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Kwara, Ekiti, Niger, Edo, Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Bauchi, Kebbi, Plateau, Imo, Nasarawa, Bayelsa and Abia. Though not all these teams are strong but we believe that some strong teams can still be raised in FCT, Minna, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ilorin and Ibadan with the right equipment, proper training of players and officials, competitions, planning and dedication of volunteers.
Demi Orimoloye - Nigeria