In a recent meeting with representatives at the Bekoji Youth Sports Office, the Bekoji Baseball Club was granted a new dedicated playing time on the official schedule for the town stadium and offered use of a storage locked on the stadium grounds. The Club was also asked to submit short- and long-term plans for their role in local baseball development, in the interest of achieving official status within the town’s sports structure. Further, it was suggested that the Club submit proposal for inclusion of a baseball field in the plans of a new athletic facility, currently under development, and also referred to the local university for possible inclusion within sport curriculum at the school.
Coaches Zegeye and Sentahyu Shiferawu, of the sport office, pledged their full support of advancing baseball as a spot for Bekoji. As pioneer coaches of Ethiopian track and field development, both understand the value of sport to the community. Zegeye and Sentahyu have also seen how baseball is a positive force for current participants, most of whom have been playing since 2013.
A good laugh was shared when it was related that the office still retained the official Major League Baseball that was presented to them as a gift, in our first meeting at the office, in 2015. While the results of that meeting were ultimately positive, the overall reception was less than we desired. It was nice to see how far things had come in three years.
The meeting was conducted entirely in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, lasting a mere 22 minutes. Gold stars for incredible (albeit unexpected) efficiency! Present at the meeting were Coaches Sentahyu Eshete and Zegye Shiferawu, representing the Bekoji Youth Sports Office, Mr. Rohobot Debele, Mr. Joseph Abebe, and Mr. Joseph Deferu, representing the Bekoji Baseball Club, and Mr. Joseph Whelan, representing World Baseball Project.
World Baseball Project and the Bekoji Baseball Club look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with the Bekoji Youth Sports Office, the people of Bekoji and the people of Ethiopia in helping the game grow in a sustainable, inclusive manner. We offer great thanks to Coaches Zegeye and Sentahyu for their graces in offering us genuine time and attention, and treating us with such admirable dignity and respect.