Peter Anyanzwa, head coach of the National Team of Kenya, has spent the last two weeks in Prague, Czech Republic. Thanks to efforts of Czech Softball, European Softball Federation, and WBSC, Peter was given an opportunity to learn from experienced softball coaches and club managers in the biggest softball Czech club – Joudrs Praha.
Two April weeks - two weeks of softball exploring – two weeks of meeting new faces – two weeks of getting inspiration. This is, in short, Peter’s experience in Prague.
The whole idea was born in Canada during WBSC Women’s World Championship where Peter met with the ESF’s 1st Vice President, and today’s President of both ESF and Czech Softball, Gabriel Waage. „First, he asked me to send a team to help them with development in Kenya, but that would be very difficult for us, so we agreed that Peter would come to gain some experience directly in the Czech Republic,“ said Gabriel Waage.
Peter stays on the field of Joudrs venue almost all the time. He travels to other ballparks to watch more games and to see how softball events are organized, too. In Joudrs Praha softball club, there are practices of various age categories every day over the whole afternoon and evening, so Peter gets the full package of information. He attends some of the practices actively:
„In Kenya, we don’t have fields, we play softball on an open field. You have so many teams here, at home, we only have a chance to develop teams at universities, both men, and women, so we have eight teams and one team from the government – that is a national service. But people are very excited and interested in softball. The only thing we’re lacking is fields and equipment,“ says this softball enthusiast who started to play himself a long time ago when he was in national service. “I’ve seen so many things here; practices, coaching, batting, catching, drills… so many things. One thing I will do immediately when I come back home? I will train and coach the players we have, so at least they improve, that is something we have in our hands. I have to thank my Federation, European Softball Federation, and the WBSC for making this possible. I hope this is not my last time here.”
Peter’s learning visit to Europe is another one of occasions where Europe and Africa cooperate in the matter of softball development. Last year, the first African team from Botswana competed in Women’s European Cup. This year, there are already two teams from Africa getting ready for European Cup competitions. In the future, this cooperation will grow even more, possibly including also men’s softball.
/video by David Agner/