Please introduce yourself.
My name is Kimane Rogron, I'm 16 years old and I'm from France. I play for les Comanches in Toulon. I started playing when I was 12, thanks to my old sports teacher at school since in introduced me to baseball. In September 2016, I joined the Softball Academy in Boulouris, which allowed me to participate in the French National U16 team and the women team as a third base player.
What made you want to play softball?
I was invited to join the National Softball Academy after attending a baseball camp. What attracted me to this sport, is that the results do not only depend on the individual's effort, but also on the team its effort. I love the technical and strategical aspect of the game but above all, I enjoy the speed of the game.
Can you tell me something about softball in your country?
Softball is not a popular game in France because it's not being publicized. Girls can only practice from the age of 15. There are no other opportunities for younger girls to learn the game, which is a big problem for the coaches. Several clubs across the country are now offering softball training. Division 1 is the level I currently play in with my club. National 1 is where I play with the National Softball Academy.
Was it difficult to get into the national team and what was the process?
It was not easy to get into the U16 team. I had to prove that I was good enough to play with the women team. Looking back, I'm happy that I worked hard and that I learned that anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it.
How often do you practice with your national team and what do the practices look like?
The national team organizes a pre-selection weekend, if selected, we go through a second selection. Coaches choose which girls will participate in the European Championship. These girls practice together for one week in order to be ready for the tournament.
What's your best experience so far with the national team?
My first European Championship with the Women team was one of my best experiences because I had the chance to play with girls I admire. Besides that I learned a lot of new skills.
What is your goal for the 2018 season?
My goals for 2018 are:
- To get selected and win the U19 European Championship.
- To get selected for the women team to participate in an internship in Japan.
- I would like to win the European Cup with my club in August.
- I would like to prepare the 2020 Olympic Games with the women team.
Is it hard for your National team to participate in European tournaments?
Money is the number one problem in French softball. We need money to build fields, equipment, uniforms and transportation. Children don’t relate to softball players because they don’t know who they are, therefore they don't want to join any clubs. If they don’t join a club, clubs don’t make enough money to expand. It’s a vicious circle.
What is the best advice someone ever gave you?
My coach tell us often: never do more, never do less, just do what you can do.
What do you think is the key to a successful team?
The key to a successful team is to have quality players. However, talent on the field is not enough. Players need to be mentally strong and the team cannot let the score dictate the effort. When each player knows that the other members of the team trust them, they can play as a unit and not as individuals.
- Romy Marinus -