In 2014, the position of ESF Communications Director was established to increase the (non-existing) level of media coverage of European Championships, Cups, and softball activities in Europe. Back then, Helena Novotná from the Czech Republic was appointed. At the ESF General Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania, Helena Novotna stepped off her position and Elda Ghilardi was named the new Communications Director.
"Back in 2018, my softball club - Forlì - placed a bid to organize the Premiere Cup, and that is when all started: I took part in my first ESF meeting, started helping ESF with graphics and managed the media for that year WEPC.
Not even before the end of the Cup, I was asked to be in the media team for 2020 WBSC Men's World Championship. I could not even believe I finally had a chance to prove my skills in an important event like that one. The event was amazingly organized and the photographers were so good that my work was easy to perform.
When Helena Novotná told me she wanted to move on and was thinking of me to take her place in ESF, I felt very blessed.
She has done great for Softball Europe and I will do my best for each and every softball fan to be as good as she is. I started playing softball when I was 10 and it has been one of my greatest love; this sport gave me so much and I cannot wait to give back to the game.
Thank you Helena and ESF Executive for believing in me."
"When I started, there was basically no coverage at all. There were only some official documents and links to play-by-play on the website, but no other content really. Our Facebook page existed but wasn't active with its 1200 followers. Live-streaming was just starting back then. We had no system of communication. The Championships took place on the field, but that was it. No news for the world to see.
Since then, we've come a long way. The website is updated on a daily bases with various softball news and tournaments. Our social media accounts are active; the Facebook page has ten times more followers today. We've completely changed the branding, we've set standards for media coverage of softball in Europe. A lot has been done. We have actually just established a group of Media Officials who will work just like TCs or UiCs at most ESF tournaments; again, to increase the media coverage standards; to help our sport be more visible, to grow softball in Europe.
For me, the five years were incredible. I had to learn things I had ever thought I could understand; like live-streaming or designing booklets or managing an emailing system. I also got to understand how difficult it is to grow our sport in 33 countries; 33 different law-systems, 33 cultures, and various conditions with different languages. However, I also learned that with the right devoted people, anything is possible. And also, that with people who are not willing to invest their time or energy, you won't move any further ever, no matter what they say.
Over the 5 years, I've been to 25 official tournaments where I met the most amazing people who were doing the same thing as me - helping to grow softball. Our community may not be the biggest one, and will never be. But the amount of desire, enthusiasm, willingness, and passion is unmeasurable! This is what makes our community special and this is what we can never lose!
I am stepping off at the point where I need new challenges and new impulses. At this point, a new person full of enthusiasm and energy for this job will help Softball Europe grow more than I would be able to. I am very confident that Elda is the right person to do so. Softball Europe, you'll be in good hands!
Even though I'm leaving the ESF Communications Director position, I am not leaving completely, I will still remain in the position of Media Officer and I want to help with ESCA Training Camps. Leaving softball is just not an option in my life.
Thank you, Gaba, our president, for being the best possible boss I could ever imagine! You've always been human and I've learned that softball is in the first place for you. Softball first, then your ego. Not many leaders are capable of this. I truly appreciate you for that!
Thank you to everyone that I've ever been in touch with over the last 5 years. You made this period of my life unforgettable."