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02.03.2006 Sports News

Baseball players Union in the offing

By GNA

Accra, March 2, GNA - A group of former members of the national baseball team are contemplating the formation of a Baseball Players Union to ensure a united front with the aim of impressing on baseball officials to include their views into the scheme of affairs. In an interview with the GNA Sports in Accra, Albert K. Frimpong, a member said when formed, the Union would ensure that the process where officials come out with directives without recourse to the views and sentiments of players become a thing of the past.

He said the formation of the association is not to spite the Baseball Association but rather work hand in hand with all stakeholders of the game to push it to the next plain.

The member said in addition to that, the Union would also serve as a welfare body that would help raise funds to help members in times of need.

Mr Frimpong, one time captain of the national baseball team who led the team to place fourth at the All African Games in Pretoria, South Africa in 1999, their first major competition, said since the sport has not taken a strong foothold in Ghana as compared to other disciplines like football and athletics, it is important that all involved in the sport contribute their quota towards its development. "At present, my colleagues who I played with have all been left to their fate and if this is not checked, it will serve as a disincentive for all the up and coming ones hoping to make a name for themselves in the sport one day.

"The formation of the Union will also come at the right time considering the fact that a new breeze is blowing in the baseball fraternity with the re-launch of the association in an impressive ceremony last week."

He said the Union intends to rope in some of their colleagues who are no longer playing actively to return to the sport to help in the training of the next generation of players to take up their place. Mr Frimpong said for so long, some of the old players have been left to their fate and this does not auger well for the sport since the game presently needs all hands on deck.

"We have a lot of plans for the old players including seeking the support of countries with strong baseball tradition to help train them as coaches to take over from the hunt for aspiring players". Baseball in Ghana started around Cantonments in Accra in 1988 by children of staff of the US Embassy and other US citizens at an area called Budweiser field later named Brynn Park that was named after one of the American Ambassadors posted to Ghana, Ambassador Edward Brynn. Some young Ghanaians in the area quickly picked up the sport and with the help of the Americans, they were helped to further their new- found passion.

The association was finally recognised by the National Sports Council culminating in the birth of the Ghana Baseball and Softball Association, GHABSA in 1992.

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