Mindy Siemers new Challengers President

The 44th ordinary General Assembly of the Challengers Baseball & Softball Club Zurich took place on Sunday at Baseball in the City in Dübendorf. Mindy Siemers was elected as the new Challengers President to follow Serge Kuenzler, who resigned from his position after eight years at the club’s helm.
Serge Kuenzler was able to look back on a very successful season at his last GA. The NLA-Team won its tenth championship title in the club’s history, the U15 cadets also won the Swiss championship title, while the Softball-Team qualified for the final for the fourth time in a row and, like the baseball team, qualified for the European Cup again. Kuenzler was also pleased that the club is well positioned for the future with its successful junior department. The appointment of Farid Bekkali and Martin Strzodka as new coaches for the NLB-Team is particularly positive for the further development of the young talent. In addition to the sporting area, there was also positive news to report from the finance department. The annual accounts closed with a small profit.
The President of the Swiss Baseball & Softball Federation, Dagmar Voith, who came especially because of Serge Kuenzler’s resignation, addressed a few words of thanks to the resigning President. The board is undergoing some changes for the coming season. While Mindy Siemers, Carlos Nepomuceno, Taylor McCants and Nicola Ernst were confirmed as board members for another year, Un-Hie Gonzalez, Isabelle Tan and Stefan Benz were newly elected to the club’s management. Mindy Siemers was elected as the new president. She is the eighth president in the club’s history.
James Sanders (NLA), Taylor McCants (Softball), Joseph Stotz (NLB) and Jasper Freigang (1st League) were honored as MVP’s of their respective teams.

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Adrian Kämpfer named Headcoach of the Swiss U18 Nationalteam

The Swiss Baseball and Softball Federation named Adrian Kämpfer as the new head coach of the Swiss U18 national baseball team. He follows Roger Savoldelli.
Kämpfer was most recently an assistant coach in the U18 national team and previously worked very successfully as a coach and manager for the juniors in the Challengers organization for many years. The next big goal for the U18 national team will be the European Championship qualifier in 2025.

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Merry Christmas

A masterful year is behind us. We were rewarded for our efforts and in the end we were able to experience and enjoy the beautiful emotions that the sport offers. But we must not let up. There are major challenges ahead of us. Be it for the league, be it for volunteer-run clubs in general.
The Challengers Baseball and Softball Club Zurich would like to thank all of its members, fans, friends, sponsors, patrons and supporters for their support. Have a relaxing holiday, a happy new year and, above all, a healthy 2024!

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International Volunteer Day

Volunteers are the driving force behind Swiss sports – without them nothing works.
They work in the background, do a lot and do it all voluntarily: the volunteers who enliven, support and advance Swiss sport. Across Switzerland the volunteers occupy 96 percent of the approximately 350,000 positions that exist in Swiss sports organizations. If the hours worked had to be paid, costs of around CHF 2 billion would be incurred.
Today is the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development – as well as the Challengers’ 43rd birthday! It is the ideal opportunity to say thank you to all of our volunteers for your commitment and your passion for the Challengers and their juniors.

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Swiss Baseball & Softball Awards Night

The Swiss Baseball & Softball Awards Night took place on Saturday, November 25th at the Crowne Plaza in Zurich. The champion teams of the various leagues were honored. The Challengers received the awards as Swiss champions in the Baseball NLA and the U15 Cadets. The Wittenbach Panthers won in softball, the Zurich Barracudas in the NLB, Wittenbach-Romanshorn in the 1st league and the Geneva Dragons in the U12 Juveniles.
The individual awards were also presented. In the Baseball NLA, Taka Oshima of the Therwil Flyers was named MVP, while Challengers pitcher James Sanders was named Playoff MVP. The MVP award in softball went to Kim Zehnder from the Wittenbach Panthers, MVP in the NLB went to Devin Flühmann from the Therwil Flyers, the award in the first league went to Marvin Müller from the Hünenberg Unicorns.

Newly inducted into the Hall of Fame was Challengers legend Peter Rothenhäusler. He played a leading role in the implementation of scoring in the early 1980s, was involved in the first Swiss version of the regulations and was active as a coach for the juniors and in softball as well as on the Challengers club board.
The Swiss national baseball team was also honored, as they unexpectedly finished in 12th place in their first ever participation in the European Championship and thus qualified for the 2025 European Championship. National coach Chris Byrnes was named “Coach of the Year”, while social media specialist Marc Fussenegger was named “Official of the Year”. The proceeds from the Awards Night will benefit the Swiss national teams.

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Nick Siemers at the MLB European Development Tournament

Challengers homegrown Nick Siemers has been selected by MLB to compete in the prestigious MLB European Development Tournament as part of the 2023 MLB London Series. The 19-year-old Swiss national team player takes part from June 19 till 25 with the best European baseball talents at the London tournament.
Siemers plans to transfer to a US college in the fall to take the next step in his career.

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Season Opener for NLB- and 1st League-Team

The NLB- and the 1st League team of the Challengers will start their 2023 campaign on the upcoming weekend. Both start the season with a home opener.
On Saturday, April 29, the NLB team will face the Luzern Eagles at the Heerenschürli ballpark. This will be the first appearance for the second team of the Challengers since they lost in the playoff quarterfinals at the beginning of September. The games start at 11.00 am and 1.30 pm.
The 1st league team will be in action on Sunday, April 30. The Challengers will meet the Zurich Barracudas and the newly formed SG Pirates/Lions at the Heerenschürli ballpark in the first day tournament of the season. The games start at 10.00 am and 12.30 pm.

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Heerenschürli should get higher fence

The Heerenschürli ballpark is the only baseball facility in Switzerland that meets international standards. In addition to the practices and championship games of the four Zurich based clubs Barracudas, Challengers, Eighters and Lions, the Swiss national teams also practice in Zurich-Schwamendingen. In addition, the Heerenschürli ballpark was also the venue for the 2013 European B Championship and in 2017 for the U18 European Championship. Zurich was recently awarded the U18 European Championship qualifier tournament from 10.-15. July 2023.
However, the height of the fence, which is not able to intercept some of the foulballs, gives cause for concern. That’s why the foulballs become a danger for spectators or athletes on the neighboring fields. Based on a study and after examining various options, a new steel fence around 100 meters long and 27 meters high has now proven to be the most practical solution. The Zurich city council is now presenting the project to the municipal council for cost approval.
Further information is available in the media release from the City of Zurich of April 5, 2023.

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Challengers Ski Day

The traditional Challengers Ski Day took place on Saturday, February 24 as usual in magnificent weather. As many as 15 Challengers enjoyed the sun and the snow at Flumserberge. When the event will develop further as it did so far, the Challengers will soon have to discuss about the formation of a ski and snowboard section. Anyway the name for the project would already exist. The table at the restaurant Prodalp was reserved for “challenge RS”.

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