#By RENALDO DORSETT
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#WITH the English Caribbean Amateur Softball Confederation (ECASC) Men’s Championship on the horizon, the Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF) is also using the opportunity to recognise Hall of Fame honourees at several levels.
#Two members of the BSF, Oria Wood-Knowles and Rommel Knowles, will be inducted into the International Softball Federation’s (ISF) Hall-of-Fame as a player and an administrator respectively.
#In conjunction with ISF Hall of Fame inductions the BSF will honour its players, administrators, coaches and sponsors in its class of 2015 Hall of Fame inductees.
#BSF President Burket Dorsett calls it an impressive class worthy of the honours they are about to receive in two weeks. “It is group of iconic softball names that have come from every aspect of Bahamian society and have contributed to the game in a number of ways. A testament to their dedication is that many of them still contribute to the growth of the game, locally, regionally and internationally,” Dorsett said. “As the local governing body its important to show and give recognition to our local athletes and contributors and simultaneously show the range Bahamian softball has had with our international honourees.”
#Both ceremonies will be held in the Ballroom of Government House on Wednesday March 25 at 6pm.
#The BSF Hall of Fame inductees are:
#Male players: Anthony ‘Bubba’ Douglas, Byron ‘BJ’ Johnson, Courtney Chandler, Garth Rolle, Gladstone Sands, Hastings ‘the Hurler’ Campbell, Hawitte Ingraham, John Sands, Leroy Thompson, Mark Gates, Michael Laing.
#Female players: Carolyn Ferguson, Ernestin Butler, Hycinth Farrington, Leona Roache, Nerissa Seymour, Vernie Curry.
#Coaches: Paul Demeritte, Richard Morley, Spurgeon Johnson.
#Sponsors: Bahamas Wholesale Agency (BWA), Five Wheels of Grand Bahama.
#Administrator/sponsor: Cornelius ‘Money’ Williams, Darrell Weir, Hansel Collie, James Smith, Johnnie Butler, Keva Turnquest (posthumously), Lauri C Newton, Paula Johnson, Penal B Wilson.
#ISF President Dale McMann will make the presentations.
#The BSF host their first ECASC men’s championship in Nassau from March 25 to 29. In 2013 the Bahamas hosted the ECASC women’s championship in Freeport, Grand Bahama, when Aruba emerged as winners.
#Six countries from the region have confirmed their participation along with the hosts: Aruba, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
#The championship will take the format of a round-robin, with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs.
#“It is anticipated that over 400 fans and players from around the English Caribbean Confederation will travel to the first ever men’s championship, providing yet another benefit to the country’s sports tourism product,” Dorsett said. “The ECASC is pleased to enjoy the support of the government of the Bahamas through the ministries of Tourism and Sports for this tournament and appeal to the business community for their support in making this event a success. This effort is being co-ordinated by Paul Fernander, the tournament’s special project offier and public relations director.”
#The tournament is one of three major events scheduled for the week of March 21-29.
#“During this tournament, the fourth General Assembly of ECASC will also be held in Nassau and it is anticipated that the presidents of the International Softball Federation, Softball Canada, the World Baseball/Softball Federation, the Confederation of Pan American Softball Associations, and the Confederation of Central American and Caribbean Associations of Softball will be in attendance. With the visit of the president of Softball Canada, we will link a pact to have that organisation provide the expertise to conduct programmes in the region in the areas of pitching, coaching, officiating, development and administration for the members bodies of ECASC during the 2015 year. The assembly will be held prior to the start of the tournament, March 25, and play will commence that evening until March 29.” Dorsett said.
#Stephen Coakley, president of the New Providence Softball Association, will serve as the tournament director, Endy Croes, of Aruba, will serve as the technical director, Patrick Henry, of Belize, as the disciplinary director, and Hellio Hillburg, of Curacao, as the chief umpire.
#Other member bodies of the ECASC include the US Virgin Islands, Jamaica and Curacao while applications are pending from Bermuda, St Marten and Bonaire.