ASAPHIL A PROACTIVE ISF MEMBER
ASAPHIL President Jean Henri Lhuillier presents softball equipment at a clinic last month in Baguio.
(Photo courtesy of ASAPHIL)
For the past two years as Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) President, Mr. Jean Henri Lhuillier has been at the forefront of many activities to further his main objective: to promote softball nationwide, especially to the youth.
In 2007 the Philippines hosted the International Softball Federation’s Congress for the first time, posting a record turnout of 84 countries as delegates, the biggest number ever recorded for that event. The Congress also served as the venue for the turning over of softball equipment from ISF President Don Porter to Mr. Lhuillier (see photo below) for distribution to several recipients from different schools and provinces throughout the Philippines. ASAPHIL also used the occasion to voice its unwavering support for the BackSoftball campaign, which aims to bring back softball to the lineup of regular sports in the calendar of the International Olympic Committee for the 2016 Summer Games.
This historic event was also reported on through a one-hour television special entitled “Focus on Philippine Softball.” The TV special was about softball from its golden years in the 70s and 80s to its present standing and was aired on IBC-13.
Apart from the ISF, other sporting events such as Summer Grand Slam 2007, As-Pac Little League Softball Championships, and Alumni Slowpitch Softball League (ASSL) were supported by ASAPHIL.
In the international scene, the national teams Blu Boys and Blu Girls took the gold medals in the 24th Southeast Asian Games. Both teams were given ample training and exposure through several competitions prior to the Games, perhaps having given them the winning advantage.
Mr. Lhuillier’s own Cebuana Lhuillier team has been an active competitor in the Pangaea Cup and Manila Slowpitch Softball League.
This year also saw the inauguration of ASAPHIL’s new office in the Rosario Sports Complex, Pasay City.
This year took ASAPHIL to several provinces such as Baguio City where a free softball clinic was held in partnership with the Baguio Centennial Commission. Over one hundred participants took part in the clinic conducted by the members of the national team. Softball equipment was also given to the City of Baguio. Coaching seminars were also part of ASAPHIL’s projects to update the coaches on new techniques. These ongoing seminars were conducted by UP Fighting Maroons and national team coach Francis Diaz. Over 80 local coaches and game officials attended a recent seminar held in Lipa.
Several sporting events were added to the roster of ASAPHIL’s support and projects namely, SMART-Titans Series 2008, ASSL, Palarong Pambansa (UP team), San Marino National Day softball exhibition, 2nd Summer Grandslam, and the Philippine Olympic Festival.
An important partnership was forged between ASAPHIL and the Lipa City government for the National Open Softball Championship.
As to competitions, Cebuana Lhuillier softball team continues to compete in local ongoing competitions such as the MSSL, the recently concluded Pangaea Cup and in the 9th Asia Cup International Slowpitch Softball Tournament where they placed 3rd. The team will represent the Philippines in the 16th Annual Bangkok International Softball League tournament that starts tomorrow.
The ISF salutes Mr. Lhuillier and ASAPHIL for their continued efforts to grow softball throughout that Asian nation.
Contributed by Cheer Mae V. Ecarma for ASAPHIL
(left to right) ASAPHIL Past President Harry Angping, ASAPHIL President Jean Henri Lhuillier, ISF President Don Porter, and ISF Secretary General Andy Loechner at a press conference in Manila during last year's ISF Congress as softball equipment is donated by the ISF for ASAPHIL's distribution. (ISF photo)