Dina, 13, from Kathmandu, has a new hobby. In her opinion, the best parts of this hobby are catching the ball and, of course, running. Dina and her teammates are forerunners in Kathmandu, because their new hobby is a Finnish national sport called pesapallo (Finnish baseball).
The first South Asian Pesapallo Championships took place in Kathmandu last week. Before the Championships, the local teams had an intense two days training camp. The event was organized by the newly established Nepal Pesapallo Association along with Mr. Juha Antikainen, a coach from the Finnish Pesapallo Association. Mr. Antikainen has previously promoted and coached pesapallo in India, where the interest towards the game was initially sparked by YouTube-videos.
The Embassy of Finland in Kathmandu took part in the opening seremony of the Championships. Judging from the excited atmosphere in the field, it seems that pesapallo has potential to become a popular acitivity also here in Nepal. The playing field was crowded already during the training camp, when 150 players were running and hitting the ball together. Furthermore, it is the plan of the Nepal Pesapallo Association to include pesapallo in the curriculum of numerous private schools.
The competition was tough, since teams from as far as Southern India arrived to match the skills of the local players. However, Dina puts her trust in her high speed, strong point of hers. When asked about her tactics for the upcoming matches, Dina had her answer ready –to run as fast as she can!