Mark Sorenson was the captain of the New Zealand Men’s Softball Team, the Black Sox, from 1989 until the beginning of 2001 and led his team to victory at the world championships in 1996 and 2000. He came out of retirement to join the 2004 Black Sox and in February 2004 they won the World Championships for the third time.
In 1989 and 1997 Mark was named Wellington Sportsman of the Year and three times New Zealand Softball player of the year. Mark was also named as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997.
Mark has been selected 12 times to the “All World Team” by the International Softball Congress (this is a world record, no-one has ever played for this team for over 11 years) and selected six times consecutively to the “All American Team” at the USA Nationals and voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player in 1990 and 1992. As well as his highly successful sporting career on the playing field, Mark also coached the Under 19 Junior Black Sox for their 2005 World Series. To cap his successful sporting career, Mark recently claimed the No 51 spot in the book, NZ's 100 Top History Makers in Sport.
His account of how the Black Sox defended their World Title in South Africa 2000 despite financial difficulties is both inspirational and entertaining. His story covers how the team did it the “hard way” using discipline and dedication as tools to success. They then did one better and won again at the 2004 World Championships, on home ground in Christchurch,
Mark has the following sports achievements:
• Cardinals Club, Hutt Valley 1973 – 2001
• Hutt valley senior Rep 1983 – 2001
• MVP at NZ National Inter-provincial Championships 5 times
• Top Batter at NZ Club Championships 3 times
• Captain World Champions 1984, 1996, 2000, 2004
• Hutt Valley Sportsman of the Year 1985, 1988, 1996, 2000
• Wellington Sportsman of the Year 1988, 1996, 2000
• Awarded the ‘Fairplay’ award at 2001 National Halberg Awards
• Member NZ Order of Merit, Queens service Award for services to Softball and the community 2000
• Played in the USA from 1986 until his retirement
• USA Softball Male Athlete of the year 1990, 1992
Mark has held a number of sales, promotions and project management positions and has acted as a youth worker and sports ambassador for New Zealand Police and Sport Wellington region, as well as maintaining his highly successful sporting career.
• The value of goal setting
• Succeeding despite the Odds
• Team building