Team Kenya’s Flodah Cheptoo (left) and Edith W. Njoroge celebrate a play during a game against Team Peru at the WBSC Women’s World Softball Championship on July 17 at South Surrey Athletic Park.

Kiwi compassion bigger than a win

New Zealand softball team pools resources to buy gear for under-equipped Kenyans.

by Gary Kingston

Call it a healthy dose of Kiwi compassion.

New Zealand trounced Kenya 28-0 on Friday in the African country’s debut at a Women’s World Softball Championship. They pounded out 27 hits and took advantage of six errors, although that number might have been higher if not for some generous scorekeeping at Softball City in South Surrey.

But the Kiwis and their sponsors and supporters felt bad. So they came up with a magnanimous gesture.

“They might not have the facilities, the right equipment and sometimes this game is bigger than the wins and losses,” said New Zealand captain Ellie Cooper. “We just wanted to provide them with something to play the game properly. Hopefully, this nice gesture after yesterday just gives them more drive and inspiration to never give up.”

The New Zealand contingent pooled resources and, with the help of Ball Park Sports in Cloverdale, purchased proper softball cleats for the 15 Kenyan players, some new bats and a few other pieces of equipment.

Lyn Lockhart, the New Zealand team leader, said people noticed the Kenyans slipping all over field in the first inning.

“We couldn’t figure out why until their first batter went to run to first base and fell over. At that point we were realized they were playing in sand shoes (flat-soled sneakers). We all had a chat in the bleachers and said there’s got to be something we can do. This is a friendly team, moved heaven and earth to get here and they’re really struggling. We said ‘let’s get them some cleats.’”

They managed to get each player’s shoe size from the Kenyan leadership. Then immediately after New Zealand’s game Saturday, on the grass behind the first base line, they presented the appreciative young women with the new cleats.

“Love them,” said Kenyan captain Virginia Munderu as she pulled her pair out of the box. “We didn’t even know there are shoes for softball. I think now we know. This is such a surprise. I am so happy to have them.”

Kenyan team manager Francis Njeru Karagu said it was a wonderful gesture by New Zealand.

“We have only running shoes in Kenya. Even balls and bats, they are nowhere in Kenya. We knew coming here we were not really up to the game, but we said we have to come. We have to start somewhere. This equipment, we will use them very well.

“Next time when we come (to worlds),” he added with a big smile, “we shall beat one, two, three teams.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Fleetwood teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

Fraser Health Overdose Alert.
Fraser Health issues Overdose Alert for Surrey

Health authority reports spike of overdoses in the last 24 hours

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read