By Gary Anderson

February 27 - A new national under-15 baseball league has been launched in Mexico ©AFP/Getty ImagesA new national competition for under-15 players that will be known as the Telmex League has been launched by the Mexican Baseball Federation (FEMEBE)

The new league, which is being supported by the Telmex Foundation, will get underway later this year and aims to strengthen the resources, organisation, visibility and solidarity of all youth baseball leagues affiliated to FEMEBE, while providing an overarching structure to standardise and streamline competitions and development initiatives across Mexico.

The Telmex Foundation, set up by telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim, aims to deliver a range of social, sporting and health programmes to disadvantaged people in Mexico.

"This is a great effort between Telmex and FEMEBE in order to generate immense growth of our sport in Mexico, and we are certain that there will be significant benefits to many young people and communities across the nation, thanks to the support of this great Mexican company and telecommunications leader," said FEMEBE President Alonso Pérez.

FEMEBE hopes the new league will attract more young players to baseball in Mexico, which is among the most popular sports, and will become a primary method for identifying, growing and selecting the best players to represent Team Mexico in the second Under-15 Baseball World Cup, which will be hosted by Mexico in the city of La Paz in August.

It is also a part of a longer-term strategy to develop high quality players for the Mexican senior national side, currently 12th in the world rankings.

FEMEBE hopes the new Telmex League will identify talented youngsters who will go on and represent the senior national side ©AFP/Getty ImagesFEMEBE hopes the new Telmex League will identify talented youngsters who will go on and represent the senior national side ©AFP/Getty Images

Commenting on the announcement, World Baseball Softball Federation (WBSC) co-President Riccardo Fraccari said: "The WBSC congratulates the Mexican Baseball Federation and President Pérez for achieving this landmark cooperation, which aggressively targets the youth demographic, with such a prestigious and able partner like the Telmex Foundation.

"This collaboration not only highlights the diligent efforts of our friends at the Mexican Baseball Federation, but also demonstrates the recognised value and benefits that baseball/softball can bring to young people, to a community and to overall society."

The announcement of the new competition was made during FEMEBE's 71st National Baseball Congress which took place at the Tamaulipas Institute of Sport in Altameria and attended by 36 of FEMEBE's national associations.

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