Cheryl Kemp is one of the giants of New Zealand women's softball. She was named New Zealand's female player of the decade from 1977-1986 when New Zealand Softball celebrated 80 years of existence. She has been inducted in the International Softball Federation's Hall of Fame twice, once as a player and once as a coach. The only person to do so. Kemp was a pitcher in the first New Zealand women's team to claim the world championship in 1982.
After her playing career she moved into administration and is the chief executive of the Canterbury Softball Association based in Christchurch. In 2004 she was awarded the Canterbury Professional Sports Administrator of the year award following the successful staging of the men's world championship in Christchurch.
"The softball community here in Christchurch is very excited about the 2018 Golden Oldies World Softball Festival.
"The Park itself has been repaired and we held the National Fast Pitch Championships in February 2016. Since the park was built we have hosted 215 international or national tournaments here. So the administrative team here is very experienced at hosting tournaments and events.
"Like all Golden Oldies sports, softballers will be able to enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded interest in their game.
"Any opportunity to meet up again, sing the old songs and play the game. There will be a lot of partying, a lot of fun, a lot of telling of old tales which we all enjoy doing and Christchurch itself, the mere fact that for the entire month we're going to be a sporting Mecca for the 35-plus-year-olds is going to be very, very special in itself.
"Everyone taking part has a common denominator and that is the love of sport that has brought them back together again to share the good times. It doesn't really matter what sport you play that is the attraction about it. It is common, sport is a marvellous connector of people, and especially team sports. I have a particular passion in what that teaches young people as well as the opportunity it affords us older people to reconnect and enjoy each others company again."
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