Candrea and Mendoza to lead European clinics to assist in education and development
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. —- The Amateur Softball Association announced today that two-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) and two-time USA Softball Olympic head coach Mike Candrea (Tucson, Ariz.) will lead softball clinics in London and Italy in the coming weeks to help spread education and development of the sport. Through efforts from the ASA, Softball UK, the Italian National Softball Program, and the United States Olympic Committee International Grant program, the clinics will take place in London from September 19-21 and in Tirrenia, Italy from September 24-25.
“I am thrilled to be a part of these clinics in Europe,” said Mendoza. “Spreading the sport of softball is one of my personal goals now that the Olympics are over and I think this is a great start. London and Italy have been so responsive and we are excited to get over there, meet the athletes and continue their development of the sport of softball.”
ASA Executive Director Ron Radigonda and Softball UK Executive Director Bob Fromer have been at the forefront of planning the clinics and have expressed their gratitude as well as the international necessity for hosting these types of events.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to send one of our finest Olympians and Olympic coaches to Europe to assist in the development of players and coaches,” said Radigonda. “These types of clinics will enhance the universality of softball and will help promote the return of softball to the Olympic program in 2016.”
“The key to softball’s reinstatement to the Olympic program lies in Europe, and in making as many European IOC members as possible aware of softball and aware of all the reasons why it deserves to be in the Games,” added Fromer. “The fact that such high-profile figures as Mike and Jessica are coming to the UK and to Italy to run these clinics should attract attention to the sport and to the reinstatement campaign. With just over a year to go until the IOC meets in Copenhagen, the more events that can draw attention to softball in Europe and show the sport in a favorable light, the better the chances that the vote will be different than in 2005.”
The International Softball Federation, through its ‘Back Softball’ campaign, is working diligently to reinstate softball on the Olympic program and clinics like this will continue to assist in their efforts. Log on to www.BackSoftball.com to learn more about the campaign.
The London clinic will consist of fast pitch and slow pitch components over the three-day event.
The slow pitch element will be a clinic led by Mendoza on outfield defensive skills to be delivered at the Greater London Softball Mixed League All-Star Day on Saturday, September 20 at Finsbury Park. It is designed for both male and female outfielders with a reasonable level of playing experience from the GLSML, the GB Slow pitch Team and the Irish Slow pitch Team.
The fast pitch elements of the clinic will be presented by Mendoza and Candrea to between 30 and 40 players aged 11-17 from Great Britain youth and Academy teams and to coaches from Britain, Israel, Belgium and Holland. These sessions will cover such topics as skill progression, game management, practice planning and communication between players and coaches.
“We’re tremendously excited about having people like Mike Candrea and Jessica Mendoza, who are at the pinnacle of world softball, come to the UK to help our young players and our coaches learn more about the game,” said Fromer. “The overwhelming softball format in the UK is slow pitch, and we’re trying to develop fast pitch softball by getting girls playing in schools and then in our Academies and our national youth teams. Our numbers are small but growing, and these clinics will give our efforts a big boost.”
USA Softball Director of National Teams, Ronnie Isham, will also conduct a special session for Great Britain team managers on the evening of September 20.
After the clinics in London, the U.S. delegation will continue on to Tirrenia, Italy for clinics on September 24-25 at the same Olympic Training Center they visited during the 2004 pre-Olympic tour. On September 24, the day will begin with a clinic for under-19 athletes before an afternoon offense and defense session including Italian National team members and Elite Club Team Players. In the evening, Candrea will instruct on conducting practice and coaching skills while Mendoza will reiterate the importance of team communication.
On September 25, the camp will continue in the morning with on field observation from Candrea of coaches conducting practice and skills while Mendoza does hitting and defensive drills with junior players. The clinic will close out in the afternoon with a series of skill develop stations for National team and Elite Club players.
Log on to www.usasoftball.com for blog updates and photos of the clinics in Europe.