Wednesday, November 30, 2011
the college level in the NAIA Division for The Savannah College of Art
and Design. (SCAD) Majoring in film and television, she aspires to
become a film/television editor. She will make an impact at SCAD on
and off the field. The coaches at SCAD will add her to their roster in
the fall of 2012. http://scadsoftballdiamondclub.blogspot.com/2011/11/jamie-gray-signs-with-scad-softball.html
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
IOC President Rogge confirms the seven sports under consideration for addition to the program for the 2016 Olympics will be reduced to two at the IOC Executive Board meeting in August in Berlin.
Baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, squash and softball will make presentations in June to the Executive Board ahead of the August decision on which to cut.
""We are going to study carefully the seven applicant sports and out of the seven we are going to propose two sports to the IOC Session," he says. The vote will take place around October 6 at the Session in Copenhagen.
Softball Reacts Positively to IOC Shortlist News
ISF president: "With odds of 2 out of 7 to make shortlist, softball will re-double efforts to communicate incredible value to Olympic Movement"
Plant City, Florida (USA); 30th March 2009: International Softball Federation President Don Porter has pledged to re-double efforts to get softball reinstated to the Olympic Games Programme in 2016 following the news that the International Olympic Committee will shortlist only two sports for the IOC Session vote in Copenhagen in October.
The shortlist news was delivered by IOC President Jacques Rogge last week at SportAccord in Denver where a top BackSoftball campaign team were busy meeting Olympic Family decision-makers and opinion formers.
Mr. Porter said, "While the decision to cut the list to only two sports for a vote by 115 IOC Members was a surprise, it has not deflected the commitment behind, and focus of, our campaign. If anything it has given us further incentive to work even harder at communicating the incredible value that softball offers the Olympic Movement. We are greatly encouraged by the way IOC Members are reacting to how softball would help the Olympic Movement open up women's sport – especially in Muslim countries; they also like our global focus on youth and our 100% doping-free track record.
"But most of all, IOC Members appreciate that the Olympic Games would be the absolute pinnacle of our international competition structure; the whole softball calendar would peak every quadrennial with the Olympic Games. While I cannot comment on other sports, I can tell you that the Olympic Games would not be just another competition in an over-crowded calendar for softball. For millions of softball players around the world the Olympic Games would be the greatest honor and we guarantee that the world's best softball athletes would all commit to performing at the Olympic Games."
Meanwhile the BackSoftball Campaign has moved to their fifth continent in a month with a critical presentation to the Oceania National Olympic Committee Annual Assembly tomorrow in Queenstown, New Zealand. The presentation will be led by Ms. Low Beng Choo, ISF Deputy Secretary General, and Danielle Stewart, a 2008 Olympic softball bronze medalist from Australia. Ms. Low is also the Malaysian Softball Federation President, Softball Confederation of Asia Secretary General, and a member of the IOC Women and Sport Commission.
Softball was first featured in the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and last year's competition in Beijing, which was won by Japan, was hugely successful with a total attendance close to 180,000 and a continuation of the sport's excellent record of no positive drug tests in major competitions.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Oct 18-19 East Coast Showcase in Virginia Beach VA
Oct 25-26 Workout and scrimmage games at Douglas
Nov 1-2 Florida's Finest Showcase in Tampa
Jan 2-4 Winter Signature Showcase in Fort Lauderdale
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I'll say that being there was a treat and the Japanese team was worthy of victory. Remember, all is not lost for softball lovers around the world.
Just because the Olympics are over, doesn't mean we give up the fight for re-instatement of Olympic Softball for 2016. The work that must be done until the vote is just beginning to process. The Back Softball Campaign must launch into full gear now before the IOC vote.
Perhaps having Japan win the Gold medal will be a wake up call for the IOC members to re-instate the sport we all love so much. Keep posting signatures on my petition. Keep spreading the word. There are so many people who still have no idea what is going on. We must band together.
Softball is a growing sport world wide! Just look at what my petition has done for creating awareness! Considering my old petition has over 7,000 signatures and this new one has also 3,000, I'd say we are begining to make a difference and you are a part of that difference. Look at the maps on these pages! Look where signatures are coming from! Every where! Thanks to all of you who love this sport as much as me!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Get the MapQuest Toolbar. Directions, Traffic, Gas Prices & More!
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Monday, August 18, 2008
It's time to go back to school! Get the latest trends and gadgets that make the grade on AOL Shopping.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
With the future looking bleak for the 8.4 million, one girl decided to change the future. Meet Jamie Gray, a 14 year old from Delray Beach, Fla., with the talent and determination to play softball at its highest level. But, like many girls around the world her dreams were crushed when the IOC voted out softball in 2012 - the first year she'd be eligible to play.
Determined to keep up her dreams, Gray said "Some way, some day, I will represent my country and play fast-pitch softball for Team USA in the Olympics."
Instead of walking the boulevard of broken dreams, Gray took action by petitioning the IOC to prove how popular softball is across the globe. Her website, savesoftball.com, has an online petition with over 6,600 signatures to date and has garnered national attention. With help from the International Softball Federation (ISF), who has also made global efforts to increase the popularity of softball, she looks to get softball back into the Olympics by 2016.
After the U.S. Softball team's 14-0 victory over Florida International University at an exhibition game in Hollywood's Osceola Park, Jamie Gray approached the Olympians. She did not rush them with pens, t-shirts and balls for an autograph, but instead she told them they "were playing for girls like me," said Gray. "They need to win and need to help save it [Olympic Softball] because girls like me have a dream of playing in the Olympics."
The greatness of Team USA was partially a cause for the shocking vote by the IOC. The earning of three gold medals in three Olympic competitions (1996, 2000, and 2004) by Team USA was seen as too dominating. The IOC felt this created an unlevel playing field for international competition. The cutting of softball is the first elimination of a sport since 1936 when polo was removed from the Games. Softball as an Olympic sport was born in 1996 and the popularity has grown since.
As it was before the cut, women were significantly underrepresented in the Olympic Games, making up just 4,306 of the 10,568 participants (just 41%) in the 2004 Olympics. With softball, double-trap shooting and the 500m time trial in cycling being removed, there will be126 less opportunities for women in the Olympics. Decreasing opportunities for women in the Olympic Games is inconsistent with the IOC's efforts to increase gender equity in the Olympic Movement.
But, contrary to the IOC votes, the popularity of softball is on the rise. Official reports from Beijing are showing that the Gold Medal rounds have sold out completely for the 2008 Games, and the 28 round robin games are nearly sold out - 90 percent as of April 9, a pace that will sell out the round robin games as well.
The turnout was so great at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia that "softball was in the top ten (out of 28 sports) in spectator turnout," reported Bruce Wawrzyniak, ISF Director of Communications, making softball one of the most popular sports at the Games.
"This is particularly rewarding for the world-class athletes that will compete in the softball competition," said ISF President Don Porter. "They've worked hard to get to where they are, and while they go to China knowing the eyes of the world will be upon them, it will be rewarding for them to be able to play in front of a packed stadium. The eight teams that qualified are extremely talented and this can only make for a more competitive and entertaining atmosphere."
The ISF has created a 10-step blueprint plan for getting Softball back into the Olympics. Jamie Gray has been touring the country in hopes of making the goal a reality by helping spread the words of the ISF. The base of the plan includes increasing the world popularity of softball from 8.4 million to 10.5 million by Oct 2009(a 25 percent increase). There is also emphasis on increasing the number of participants in countries throughout the Middle East by giving women and girls an accessible and acceptable route to participating in sports.
The Back Softball campaign is running "in the spirit of fair play and will uphold all the values of Olympism. However, the ISF is mounting this campaign to succeed and not just to take part. The ISF aims to prove that Softball is an asset for the Olympic Movement by meeting and exceeding all criteria used by the IOC to evaluate sports for the Olympic Program of the 2016 Games," reads step 10 of the blueprint.
Re-instating softball as an Olympic Sport is a daunting task for any one, no doubt a challenge for a 14 year old that has fearlessly taken the world of softball on her shoulders. But, Gray's goal of playing in the 2016 Olympics, at the prime age of 22, are to worldly to forget. The IOC will be meeting in 2009, after the Beijing Olympics, to decide on the games that will be included in the 2016 Olympics. With the possibility of Chicago hosting the 2016 Games, Gray is more determined than ever to make Softball an Olympic sport once again.
"We were just one vote short for 2012, let's not be short in 2016! I know that I am just one 14 year old girl with a dream, but I believe with your help, we can make a difference. That difference can make my dream come true," said Gray.
For more information about Jamie Gray and her petition to "Save Olympic Softball" head to www.savesoftball.com.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I introduced myself to them and explained what I am trying to do.
They applauded my efforts and stressed that I continue to spread the word about softball being taken out of the Olympic Games for 2012 (to those who may not already know) and encouraged me to direct focus to the Back Softball Campaign.
For those who are unaware, the Back Softball Campaign has been ongoing since the vote of the removal of softball from the Olympic Games for 2012. This task force is providing a direct plan for presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is enacting steps necessary to prove the accomplishments of softball as a world sport.
The Back Softball Campaign has already had a tremendous positive effect on people world wide.
For instance, fast pitch softball is growing. More international programs are being implemented, causing girls to learn the game at an earlier age. These programs are crucial in developing more athletes, and allowing them to compete at higher levels.
The ISF, and members within the task force, are THE leaders in the progress of getting fast pitch softball re-instated to the Olympics. Because of their efforts, young hopefuls, like me, might have a future chance to play fast pitch softball in future Olympic Games.
Please visit BackSoftball.com for more details regarding the plan already set in motion.
I thank the ISF President, Don Porter, for allowing me the time to meet with this extraordinary group of inspiring people. I will be working closely with the Back Softball Campaign in the future, and continuing with my online petition.
My online petition is to create awareness, and to help the Back Softball Campaign prove to the IOC, that softball does deserve the chance to once again become an Olympic Sport.
I will remain dedicated to my cause. I will continue to stand up for what I believe in, and for what I deserve. I want the chance for all, Olympic softball, young hopefuls, to represent our home countries, playing the game we love.
Please help me in my quest.
With your help, my dream can come true.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
‘Saving Softball—The Jamie Gray Story’
One Girl’s Fight to Reinstate Softball for the 2016 Olympic Games
Like most teenage softball players, Jamie Gray was devastated to learn that the International Olympic Committee had voted to eliminate her sport from the 2012 Olympic Games. But unlike the rest, she decided to do something about it. Watch this inspiring true story of a 13-year-old softball player by clicking the icon at left.
14-year-old fights to get softball reinstated for the 2016 Games
BY ETHAN J. SKOLNICK | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
March 12, 2008
Cat Osterman remembered her. Monica Abbott, too. Crystl Bustos, her favorite, gave her a warm hug.
Last Tuesday marked the first time Jamie Gray had seen her heroes in person since October at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, when she first solicited their autographs, participated in their clinic, distributed stickers and familiarized them with her cause. By now, the Delray Beach resident with braces had become a celebrity of sorts herself—Web site creator, video star, screenplay reader.
So after the barnstorming U.S. Softball team beat Florida International University 14-0 in an exhibition at Hollywood's Osceola Park, the 14-year-old catcher felt comfortable making the rounds and her pitches. She told the U.S. coach, Mike Candrea, who also coaches Arizona, that she was his future catcher.
The message for Olympic players?
"I told them that they were playing for girls like me," Gray said. "I told them that they need to win and they need to help save it, because girls like me have a dream of playing in the Olympics."
That currently stands as a dream deferred, and not simply because Gray remains a few years short of eligibility. In 2005, the International Olympic Committee voted to cut baseball and softball starting with the 2012 Olympic program, the first sport eliminations since the removal of polo in 1936. The vote on softball was 52-52, with a majority required for retention—a majority that would have been achieved had American equipment manufacturer Jim Easton not abstained because of his concern about a conflict of interest.
Even tougher to take?
That Team USA's dominance apparently contributed to the disappointing tally. The American squad has cruised to the gold medal in all three Olympic competitions (1996, 2000 and 2004). In 2004, opponents scored a total of one run in seven games. The team, largely intact, is heavily favored to win in Beijing in August.
Gray and her mother, Tammy, will be there, cheering, after having won an Olympic ticket lottery. The irony, however, is that those victories are likely to do little to contribute to softball's reinstatement for the 2016 Games because they may just reinforce the contention of European voters that the sport is too tilted toward the Americans.
The reality is that Gray—and girls like her—may prove even more important to softball than softball is to her.
And, to her, the sport is everything.
Gray also plays soccer, basketball and volleyball at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Boca Raton. She has a 175 bowling average and she plans to start running track as well.
Softball, however, is her obsession. In her room, you'll find bobblehead dolls of Major League Baseball players, a framed photo of Red Sox and former Marlins star Mike Lowell and a slew of trophies she's earned playing for the Caloosa Park Crush and other teams. There's also a ball that lost its laces when she smacked it for her first grand slam. In the living room, you'll find a large photo of her, from the first time she wore catcher's gear in a game.
"We were without a catcher, and so I tried it," Gray said. "And right when a girl tried to steal on me, I threw her out, and I was like, 'Oh my God, this is fun!'"
As for the day of that Olympic vote...
Not so much fun.
"I found the information on the Internet, and I couldn't even tell her," said her mother, Tammy. "So I just wrote the Web site on a piece of paper and handed it to her. And she went and looked at it. And she's like, 'No, Mom, no, this is my dream. What can I do? What can I do?'"
Mom was a catcher for her high school softball team. Dad pitched in high school.
"But I was never as good as she is," Tammy Gray said. "I kid you not, when she first started playing baseball at YMCA in Boca, and we had to move her out of the YMCA sports and put her into city ball because we were afraid she was going to hurt someone."
Tammy wanted to help her daughter get softball back into the Olympics for 2016. She asked a friend to design a Web site so Jamie could start a petition.
That petition, on savesoftball.com, now has more than 5,200 signatures, including some from athletes abroad. The Web site also links to a six-minute documentary about Jamie on TheSoftballChannel.com.
Many in the softball world know her story. A movie producer recently sent a screenplay titled Fast Pitch, about high school girls playing softball. Jamie, who will attend Park Vista High, deemed it "really cool" that someone sought her opinion.
Nothing would be quite as cool, however, as the reinstatement she seeks. She will be 22 in 2016. The Olympics could be in Chicago, close to where her mother was raised. She wants to be on the field.
What will she do if her cause succeeds?
"I don't know," Jamie said. "Jump for joy, start crying. I'll call everybody, I'll call and be like, 'I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it!' I'll run outside and scream 'I did it' at the top of my lungs."
The members of Team USA should recognize her voice.
Catching a dream
A hot Sunday afternoon. Bottom of the seventh inning, the bases are loaded and the home team is up one run. Number four hitter is up to bat. They all know her for the home runs that became a legend in the league. Without even looking to the catcher, she points the bat to the pitcher, adding defying pressure to the final moments of the game. The ball comes as a wild pitch, wild enough to pass over the catcher’s head without touching anyone. The runner on third base is going to try to steal home and tie the game as the catcher is running after the ball; she turns and takes a glimpse at the pitcher already reaching home plate. She throws the ball, loses balance and falls with her eyes closed. As she touches the ground she can hear the crowd cheering in excitement for the glorious win. Jamie Gray can’t feel the pain; she can only feel the joy of being 11 years old and winning a game.
The player’s first memories as a child always include a bat or a glove. Her mom used to play softball as a kid and signed her up for beginner’s classes when she was 5 years old at the Boca Raton YMCA. There she learned the basic fundamentals like how to throw, catch and hold the bat.
From that moment on, Jamie’s life was forever tied with softball, leading up to her playing for three different teams, practicing four days a week and playing tournaments almost every weekend.
Jamie stands out from other girls, with her technique, strength to throw a ball, determination and go-getter attitude. She keeps her grades up with hard work, all A’s and B’s, as doing well in school was the only condition her parents imposed for her to play.
IOC Cuts Softball
On July 8 the softball world was stunned by news that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Singapore had voted to drop softball and baseball from the venues for the 2012 Olympiad in London. Each of the 28 existing sports was put to a secret vote by the IOC, and baseball and softball failed to receive a majority required to stay on the program. Those were the first sports cut from the summer Games in 69 years. The International Olympic Committee then rejected the five sports wanting to get in and the other 26 sports were retained.
Tammy Gray, Jamie’s mom, was surfing the Web when she read the news. “How could I tell her that? It’s her life, her dream. I just wrote down the name of the Web site and gave to her,” Gray said.
Like many other girls across the country, Jamie started crying as she read the article, and by the end of it her mom was crying as well. When a child asks a mother, “This was my dream, what am I going to do now?” it’s heartbreaking not to have an answer, a quick fix, a kiss on a scratched knee.
But this girl didn’t want to sit around the house waiting; she wanted to do something. She just couldn’t adjust her dreams and decide to be a doctor or a lawyer instead of playing in the 2012 Olympic Games for the U.S. softball team. Being a famous softball player is all she knew and desired with her heart.
Last month Jamie and her mom had the idea of starting a petition Web site, a place where people could leave their signature as a sign of their appreciation for the sport. It was designed to tell a little bit of Jamie’s story and show the IOC that there’s a large interest in softball, not only in the United States, but also across the world.
Jamie is designing T-shirts to improve her campaign and help to put the word out on her fight. “My goal is to get 1 million signatures and get softball reinstated,” she said, sounding mature for her age.
The Gray family is not the only party trying to convince IOC that eliminating softball was a huge mistake. The Women's Sports Foundation is working side by side with other international organizations trying to mobilize the sports community into fighting to reinstate softball in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Women are significantly underrepresented in the Olympic Games, comprising 4,306 or 41% of the 10,568 participants in the last edition. The elimination of softball, double-trap shooting and the 500m time trial in cycling will result in a reduction of 3% or a net loss of 126 opportunities for women. Decreasing opportunities for women in the Olympic Games is inconsistent with the IOC’s efforts to increase gender equity in the Olympic Movement.
Re-establishing softball is a big fight for an 11-year-old to take on fearlessly, but Jamie Gray’s dreams are too big to be left behind. And as her mom always says “You can do anything you want. The sky is the limit.” You go girl!
Softball will still be a part of the Olympic Games in the 2008 World Program. USA, ISA, and ASA softball affiliates along with the US Olympic Committee are being led by the ISF to show the IOC that there is world interest for this sport.
The birth of softball in the 1996 World Olympic Games was a great accomplishment toward world wide acceptance of Women's team sports. It would be a short-lived life if elimated after the 2008 World Olympic Games, and it would be a tragic event for so many young dreams of participation to be shattered.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Channel 5 Story: Teen Works To Save Softball As Olympic Sport
An honor student at Don Estridge Middle School, Delray Beach resident Jamie Gray is very involved in sports.
She plays softball, track, soccer and volleyball, but softball is the one sports that she loves more than any other.
She’s not kidding either. Looking at 14 year old’s room tells the story.
Her favorite team is, without a doubt, the USA Softball Team.
So imagine how upset Jamie became when she learned the International Olympic Committee decided softball will no longer be played at the Summer Games after 2008.
As a result Jamie started a petition called savesoftball.com.
Fans can go online and sign the petition to show support for saving softball at the Olympic Games.
Jamie has nearly six thousand signatures and has been letting her fingers do the talking and will even travel this year to Beijing with her mom to watch the U.S. play in what could be their final Summer Games
Don Estridge defeated Emerald Cove in the Palm Beach County Girl's Soccer semi-finals. Don Estridge tied the game 1-1 late in the second half and it went to penalty kicks to decide the winner. Jamie plays goalie for Don Estridge and is wearing the green shirt in the video. The county championship game will be played Monday at Don Estridge.