During the annual joint ESF-CEB Congress this past weekend both executive bodies of European baseball and softball elected new presidents.
Long-standing president of softball in the Czech Republic, Gabriel Waage, becomes the President of the European Softball Confederation (ESF). Waage has served with the ESF since 2004, most recently as 1st vice president. He said his primary focus would be building the ESF brand.
"We want to be the organization that is always ready to help our affiliated federations with whatever they seek. I want the ESF to become a strong brand that everybody wants to be a part of and I’d like to start a few Europe-overlapping projects that have the potential to attract the attention of the general European public."
Filling Waage's vacancy as 1st vice president is Youri Alkalay from Bulgaria. Also elected to the ESF executive council were Petra Arends (Netherlands); John Austin (Ireland); Daniela Castellani (Italy); Mette Nissen-Jakobsen (Denmark); Kristian Palvia (Sweden); Secretary General Ami Baran (Israel) and Treasurer Eddy van Straelen (Belgium).
The Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) also appointed a new president this session. Didier Seminet, president of the French Baseball Softball Federation, has become the first Frenchman to hold the post. Seminet said, “I’m honored to serve European Baseball and I want to thank the National Federations for their trust,” he later added, “The newly elected Executive Committee will take action to raise baseball’s profile within Europe and globally.”
Joining Seminet on the executive committee are 1st Vice President Petr Ditrich (Czech Republic); 2nd Vice President Jürgen Elsishans (Germany); 3rd Vice President Rainer Husty (Austria); Secretary General Krunoslav Karin (Croatia); Treasurer Rene Laforce (Belgium) and Members At Large Roderick Balk (Netherlands); Marco Mannucci (Italy) and Oleg Boyko (Ukraine).
Waage, who has been president of Czech softball since 2002, succeeded the Netherlands’ Andre van Overbeek, who served the maximum of two four-year terms. Seminet replaced Jan Esselman, also from the Netherlands, who decided not to run for a second term.
32 nations attended the congress in Belgrade, Serbia. The 2018 joint CEB-ESF Congress will be held in Paris on February 10, 2018.