Uganda is to become the first African country to present a youth baseball team to compete in the Little League World Series. The Rev. John Foundation Little League team from Kampala defeated Dhahran of Saudi Arabia to represent Middle East and Africa.
According to the Associated Press, the Saudi team which had won the region for the last 11 years fell 6-4 to their Ugandan counterparts, paving way for Uganda’s historic qualification to compete at the 2011 edition of the Little League World Series.
The team from Uganda had outclassed squads from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa in the four-day regional tourney held at the Little League Baseball European Leadership Training Center in Kutno, Poland.
"We are delighted to have a team from Africa represented for the first time at the World Series this year," AP quotes Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive of Little League Baseball and Softball as saying.
"We have to acknowledge the hard work of Richard Stanley, who has played a pivotal role in helping Little League get started in Uganda and his continued assistance in helping the league on a year-to-year basis."
Kampala, which had its first youth team in 2005, will now play the Canadian champion on August 19 in the first round of the World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA.
Sixteen teams of 11- and 12-year-old boys are to be divided into U.S. and International brackets leading up to the championship game on August 28. Games will take place in South Williamsport, Pa.