It’s not always about winning the game -- sometimes it’s about much more!
Softball Against Cancer is a project that combines love for our sport with the power to help others, and on May 3, the first Softball Against Cancer (SAC) Day will be organized at the Hoofddorp Pioneers Stadium in the Netherlands.
Ginger de Weert, a long-time Dutch national team pitcher, has been asked to work with Baseball Against Cancer (BAC), an organization founded four years ago by Swen Huijer, by establishing a softball version of the event. The aim is to raise money to support cancer research.
Swen Huijer said: “The idea to start a project which would generate extra money for a cancer foundation appeared in my mind after I had joined the Alpe D’HuZes campaign run by the Dutch Cancer Society, and in 2012 I organized the first BAC Day, a baseball clinic in Hoofddorp. It turned out to be a great success, with 200 children joining in. The following year we decided to continue with our project and in 2015 I started talking to Ginger de Weert about setting up Softball Against Cancer. We’ve been working together and we have a lot of great ideas.”
Thanks to these two young enthusiasts, some of the top softball players and coaches from across the Netherlands will come to Hoofddorp on May 3 to lead a one-day clinic, where children can sign up for 10 euros and spend the day learning from the best.
Swen Huijer said: “We will open the event by introducing the professional line-up that makes up the instructors’ crew. Kids look up to these players and will be very excited about the chance of being trained by them for a day.”
Questions and answers
We asked Ginger de Weert a few questions about the Softball Against Cancer Day:
Q: How exactly does this project work?
A: Kids between 7 and 16 years old receive clinics and training from the best baseball and softball players in The Netherlands for a cost of 10 euros. The money we raise then goes to KWF, the cancer research foundation in The Netherlands.
Q: Who will be the instructors at the softball clinic?
A: The list of players and coaches is not complete yet, but it will include some of the best players in Holland, most of whom are or used to be in the National Team, such as Rebecca Soumeru, Kirsten Scheele, Maxime van Dalen, Cindy van der Zanden, Karin Tuk, Nathalie Gosewehr, Virginie Anneveld, Marisila de Windt and Anouk van den Heuvel. And there will also be a number of top softball coaches, such as Karen Marr, Kate Gentile, Peter van Dalen, Diana Remmers and Anthony Beaumont.
Q: What are the plans for the Softball Against Cancer clinic?
A: The kids and others who attend will get practice in pitching, catching, fielding and hitting and we’ll also play some games. Interest in the event has been quite high since we’ve opened registration. We’re hoping for an attendance of around 100 kids.
Ginger de Weert is excited about the possibilities for the first Softball Against Cancer day. Baseball Against Cancer hosted nearly 300 children in 2014 and attendance has never dropped under 200 since the project began.
Both Swen Huijer and Ginger de Weert have experienced cancer in their own families, and their drive and enthusiasm for the project comes from the thought that others may be spared this experience in the future.
Swen Huijer said: “At the end it all comes down to the main idea: we hold a clinic, support children’s desire to get better, sell our merchandise and enjoy this great experience – and raise awareness in the fight against cancer.”
/photos by Rob Jelsma: knbnb.nl, SAC Facebook/