- Associated Press - Monday, July 18, 2011

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA. (AP) - A youth baseball team from Uganda will be the first from the continent of Africa to compete in the Little League World Series.

The Rev. John Foundation Little League team from Kampala won the Middle East and Africa region on Saturday, beating Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 6-4. The Saudi team had won the region for the last 11 years.

Kampala beat squads from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa in the regional tourney. The five-team, four-day tournament was played at the Little League Baseball European Leadership Training Center in Kutno, Poland.

Kampala will play the Canadian champion on Aug. 19 in the first round in South Williamsport, Pa.

“We are delighted to have a team from Africa represented for the first time at the World Series this year,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive of Little League Baseball and Softball. “We have to acknowledge the hard work of Richard Stanley, who has played a pivotal role in helping Little League get started in Uganda and his continued assistance in helping the league on a year-to-year basis.”

Sixteen teams of 11- and 12-year-old boys will be split into U.S. and International brackets culminating in the championship game on Aug. 28.

Little League officials say Kampala had its first youth team in 2005.

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