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.

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

Family and friends of Hudson Brooks marched as part of a call for answers from an IIO investigation into his 2015 death. (Black Press Media files)
Inquest to look into RCMP shooting death of Hudson Brooks

Charges agains the RCMP officer who shot Brooks were stayed in 2019

A little brown bat, which has become endangered due to white-nose syndrome. (Greg Michalowski photo)
Bat sightings on Semiahmoo Peninsula spark worries of white-nose syndrome

Fungal disease is deadly for local bat populations: BC Community Bat Program

The old Rickshaw sign today, with the former restaurant location in the building behind it. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
SURREY NOW & THEN: Rickshaw sign stands as a reminder of Jung family’s restaurant days

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites and events

Mike LeSage. (submitted photo)
LeSage to head Community Policing Bureau of new Surrey police force

Second of three Deputy Chief Constables to be hired by fledgling force

White Rock Evergreen Baptist Society had 46 COVID-19 cases as of Jan. 13, according to a recent report released by the province. (Peace Arch News photo)
White Rock care home’s COVID-19 cases jump 50 per cent in a week: report

Three White Rock/South Surrey care facilities among B.C. sites with active outbreaks

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Scott Ackles

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

The RCMP was called to a condo complex in Langley City in the early hours of Jan. 18, 2021, for a shooting. (Shane Mackichan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
27-year-old taken to hospital after overnight targeted shooting in Langley

RCMP have not confirmed the incident is link to the Lower Mainland gang conflict

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

Most Read