One day after the passing of the Italian Softball leader Enrico Obletter, Europe is mourning his death.

The European world of softball is still in disbelief for the loss of Coach Enrico Obletter, who passed at the age of 61 due to complications resulting from COVID-19.

Softball Europe President Gabriel Waage commented on the tragic event: "I am shocked. Enrico was one of the most respected coaches in Europe. As a coach, it was always my pleasure to stay in the coaching box against him.". 

President Waage also added: "Enrico united all the Italian National Teams achieving the big dream to get a ticket to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. I am so sad to see that he passed so close to seeing his dream becoming reality.".

In the summer of 2019, Coach Obletter led the Azzurre to win the European Championship Title in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Right after, his team won the Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Enrico Obletter should have been in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, but the games were postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

Softball Europe Secretary-General Ami Baran is shocked as well: "I cannot believe it happened, I am very saddened by Enrico’s passing and I am at a loss of words. We are all here now for his family, his friends his team and will have him in our hearts forever.".

Many tributes came from a variety of people of the baseball and softball community from all over the World.

One of the most heartfelt tribute came from Greta Cecchetti, pitcher for Team Italia: "For everything you taught me, I thank you infinitely and I promise you that I will never forget it. I can confidently say that you have made me a better player. You made the Italian national team better. In the last message you sent me, you wrote to me "continue in your mission". From today, this mission is for you. Ciao Enrico.".

Softball Europe is close to Enrico's wife Giovanna and their family, the Azzurre and the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation in this tragic moment.

/ Elda Ghilardi
Picture by Sascha Schneider