Last week, Softball Europe took part in the Games of Peace, a softball event hosted in the United Arab Emirates.
A unique event has shown how Sport can be a great tool for Friendship. As the diplomatic missions were established between UAE and Israel in 2020, and the final Abraham Accords Peace Agreement signed in September 2020, Sport has become the bridge between those Nations. Israel visited UAE last weekend to play slowpitch games going by the name Games of Peace.
Three games were played. The final game crowned the Games of Peace: players from both teams mixed and created joint teams, which expressed the exact purpose of these Games.
Gabriel Waage, WBSC Europe Co-President and SE President, visited the event, and he said: “the results of the games are not important. Much more important is the possibility to find a common language between nations, which are in an unstable situation. I am more than happy this event has shown how sport can be the tool to make it.”
Softball Europe Secretary-General Ami Baran and Softball Europe First Vice President Youri Alkalay visited the 2021 Games of Peace, and both were effective players on the field too. The excellent facility of Dubai Little League Fields hosted the event. The land was given by the Royal Family of the Emirates and the whole project was supported by the US Embassy in UAE.
Gabriel Waage also met at the Games NOC Executive member, Mr. Adel Mohammed Saleh Al-Zarouni, and shared ideas about future cooperation. Mr. Al- Zarouni is one main force in helping the game of softball grow in the UAE and Softball Europe truly appreciates his efforts.
Gabriel Waage invited the UAE slowpitch team for Softball Europe's upcoming Coed Slowpitch Super Cup, which will be held in Sofia, August 2-7, 2021. “This is a concrete step forward in this ongoing cooperation. I am proud that Softball Europe will be a part of this and will assist in making this future partnership a productive one.” Waage said.
Softball Europe President Gabriel Waage would like to thank the Israel Softball Association President Gerson Gillett, Emirate Softball League leaders Tommy and Bobby Fiala for organizing this incredible Softball event. Special thanks go to Dubai Little League President Roger Duthie for allowing the use of the fields.