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White Sox generosity for Kenyans praised

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/07/2016

New Zealand have won hearts at the women's softball world championship in Canada after donating bats and playing gear to tournament rookies Kenya.

The White Sox thrashed Kenya 28-0 in their opening game in Surrey, near Vancouver, and felt generosity was in order against the ill-equipped Africans, who struggled to keep their feet on the diamond's surface.

New Zealand players, officials and supporters noticed their opponents were wearing sneakers so organised for a set of cleats to be provided for each of the Kenyan players. Three bats were also purchased for their team.

"Sometimes this game is bigger than the wins and losses," New Zealand captain Ellie Cooper told the tournament website.

"We just wanted to provide them with something to play the game properly. Hopefully, this nice gesture just gives them more drive and inspiration to never give up."

Kenyan manager Francis Njeru Karagu, whose team are making their tournament debut, was grateful for New Zealand's gesture.

"We have only running shoes in Kenya. Even balls and bats, they are nowhere in Kenya," she said.

"We knew coming here we were not really up to the game, but we said we have to come. We have to start somewhere. This equipment, we will use them very well."

The newly-equipped Kenyans lost their second game 15-0 to Italy on Saturday.

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