Softball, a recognised sport in the world that has a good number of players among the Latino community, is one of the positive things that has come to TT as a result of the economic crises in various countries in South America and the Caribbean.
Every Sunday, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain welcomes entire families from Venezuela, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, who come together to share and entertain themselves through sport.
José Manzano, one of the promoters of this discipline in TT, recalled that softball arrived in TT at the end of the 90s. A group of Venezuelans trained for exercise.
At first, baseball was played, but because the ground is not perfect, they decided to go to softball. “Since 2010, more people began to approach, including Cubans and Dominicans,” said Manzano.
He said the first tournaments played were of only three teams (from Venezuela, Cuba and the Dominican Republic).
Teams play a game of softball recently, at the Queen’s Park Savannah Port of Spain
“Following the arrival of Venezuelans and Cubans to TT, we began to seek help from embassies and private companies, even ambassadors attended the games.”
However, this support stopped in recent years and they have no sponsors.
“The lack of support does not stop us, word has spread among Latinos and several teams joined. Today, we have eight participating teams and we play three championships a year,” he indicated.
All of the players buy their uniforms, balls and all the necessary equipment.
“It has been a boom, we Latinos like sports and softball is one of those that can be played in an amateur way, every Sunday, whole families attend to have fun and entertain themselves after a long week of work.”
A group of Venezuelans and other Latinos get together, at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain for a game of softball.
Manzano said the fifth men’s softball championship, called Christmas Cup 2019, began and will be held every Sunday, at Queen’s Park Savannah.
Caciques of Macuro, Amigos of Tucupita, Vinotinto of Arima, Pitbulls of San Fernando, Beast of San Fernando, Titanes, Cuba and Rebeldes of the Dominican Republic are the eight teams that give life to this tournament.
“Many people have approached with the interest of participating, in fact, there were not so many rules and now we are forced to make a good competition with regulations and little by little we are moving forward.”
This championship is expected to end on December 8. Three games are held every Sunday from 10 am. “There are several proposals to carry the games to other locations, the two San Fernando teams are planning this, but you have to have a good ground to play comfortably and we (are)working to get another stadium with the corresponding permits.