Baseball New Zealand Chief Executive Ryan Flynn has been appointed to the newly formed Development Commission of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC).
The WBSC was formed in 2013 by bringing together the International Baseball and Softball Federations to unite the sports on the world stage. Under the leadership of president Riccardo Fraccari, the WBSC has made a historic return for men's baseball and women's softball to the Olympic Games programme for Tokyo in 2020.
President Fraccari envisaged a joint WBSC Development Commission for the sports more than a year ago and the nine-member panel has been carefully selected and the appointments show a balance of nationality, gender and sporting background.
Ryan Flynn, has developed a growing reputation on the international scene thanks to the work he has done in New Zealand growing the game of baseball and forging links around the world.
The Commission will include:
Chair: Angelo Vicini (San Marino)
Servio Borges Suarez (Mexico)
John Boyd (Great Britain)
Craig Cress (USA)
Chris Day (Chinese Taipei)
Amilcar Estrada (Guatemala)
Ryan Flynn (New Zealand)
Mette Nissen Jakobsen (Denmark)
Ms Taeko Utsugi (Japan)
Riccardo Fraccari, in a letter to the Commission members, said, "Thank you for accepting the appointment and thank you for providing your experience and knowledge for the benefit of our sport and its development. I am looking forward to having the occasion to meet you and share your views and opinions."
"I'm honoured to be asked to join such a skilled and diverse panel of baseball and softball experts from across the world," said Flynn who added, "The WBSC has made phenomenal strides since its inception and President Fraccari and his team have worked diligently to ensure our sports have a bright future in both the short and long-term future of both sporting codes. Under his leadership and newly forged bonds with MLB, NPB and the top professional leagues in the world, plus a strong schedule of international events like the World Baseball Classic, rebranded World Cups in both baseball and softball and, of course, our re-entry for baseball and women's softball in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the WBSC has solid leadership in place for years to come to ensure that our sports are viewed as they be-as two of the most popular, profitable and enjoyable team sports on the planet."
"We have a great deal of work to do in the Oceania region and various regions around the world to ensure a level playing field for all countries engaged in both sports, and this will be a key element of my time on this committee," added Flynn. "I want to assist good people in nations around the world who have a similar passion to mine-to help young people play 'diamond sports' at the highest level they possibly can and learn life lessons along the way."
Commission Chair Angelo Vicini has called for the first meeting to take place in Mexico later this month.