PALAPYE: Former Botswana Softball Association (BSA) President Tirelo Mukokomani has been nominated for the African Softball Baseball Association (ABSA) presidency contest.
ABSA will elect its leadership at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Congress scheduled for Osaka, Japan, from November 19 to 21.
The continent’s association is made up of 18 countries that include five southern African representatives. Mukokomani will contest for the presidency against sitting president Saber Jlajla of Tunisia and Marc Moreau of South Africa. He is the only Motswana running for a position in the ABSA leadership.
Four other candidates will be elected to fill positions of vice president- softball, vice president- baseball, secretary general and treasurer. Mukokomani was elated by the nomination and is keen to land the position. He reckons Botswana has been a big player in the growth of softball on the continent.
Softball and baseball, he said, have a value that the country can tap into to promote Botswana for investment and tourism.
“Growth of this sport in the African continent is locally bred. We have invested a lot in softball, and we can’t be bystanders. I would like our youth to someday be playing softball and baseball and sport in general globally and earning a better living,” he said.
Mukokomani’s early contact with softball can be traced to as far back as 1981 when he started his softball career at a tender age of 11 for a little league softball team called Colts.
The club was run by an American,
He played alongside the likes of Professor Martin Mokgwathi, Labeaus Peloewetse, Thuli and Themba Johnson, Bruce Palai, Dan Nthaga to mention a few. In 1996, his skills landed him at the Saint Louis Cardinal Major League Baseball Club in Florida, United States of America where he went for trials but was unsuccessful.
Twelve years later, in 2008 he became the BSA president. His term was short-lived as he left a year later. He returned in 2012 trusted with a similar position and in 2013, he was chosen as vice president Africa, subsequently earning a position on the board of directors of the International Softball Federation.
The merger of the International Softball Federation (ISF) and the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) also saw the merger of the two boards, and he served both. In 2017, in Gaborone he was elected member at large of the board, softball division.
At the time he was vice chairperson of the Softball Hall of Fame Commission. Currently, he is a member of the men’s fast pitch commission as well as the baseball commission, a new fast paced urban baseball softball discipline.