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.”

Just Posted

Surrey drunk driver gets 32 months in prison for killing grandma, injuring girl

Shavin Reynold Singh, 31, is also prohibited from driving for four years

Surrey filmmaker creates ‘Monster’ movie about gang life in the city

Fleetwood resident Inderveer Sodhi wrote, directed and stars in his coming-of-age fictional drama

Surrey ‘foam-free Vaisakhi’ initiative inspires ‘Sweet Takeaways’ business

KPU students launch business selling sugarcane takeout containers as alternative to foam, single-use items

Driver escaped uninjured as car burst into flames on Nordel Way

It happened at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in North Delta, just west of Scott Road

Surrey author wants to create awareness of colourism with latest book

The Desirable Sister is Taslim Burkowicz’s second book

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

No turn signals, double-parking among top concerns for B.C. drivers: poll

Two-thirds of B.C. drivers said that not using turn signals was their biggest pet peeve

Man accused in fatal Shuswap church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

Most Read

l -->