Finland has launched a women's softball team ©Finland Olympic Committee/Jukka Marttala

The Czech Republic and Finland have targeted participation at the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympics in baseball and softball, should the sports be included on the programme for the Games.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) said Finland has begun its first national softball team training camp of the season.

A total of 30 players participated in the camp in Seinäjoki, with a long-term target of participation at Los Angeles 2028 set.

"This year we are looking for experience," said Jukka Ropponen, Finnish Baseball and Softball Association President.

"On the other hand, it is good for these young players when it comes to a multi-year project.

"In the coming years, there are plans to make more experienced players available as schedules work better.

"With about six and a half years to go to the Los Angeles Olympics, the next European Championship might be the key for Finland to qualify for LA28.

"Then the goal is to be in the medal positions, but we are not talking about any bronzes - 2025 is about winning the European Championship."

Finland are set to make their international debut at the 2022 Women’s Softball European Championships.

The competition will take place in Barcelona in July.

The Czech Republic Baseball Association has also launched a similar Los Angeles 2028 related project.

The organisation began an initiative in November aimed at finding pitchers aged 16, titled the Pitching Prospect Programme.

Pitchers are set to be provided with similar conditions to senior national team players.

The Czech Republic Baseball Association hopes this will help their integration into the national team in future.

The organisation has also held four games in Barcelona for its under-15 national team as it seeks to develop its future prospects.

Baseball and softball returned to the Olympic Games in Tokyo after a 13-year hiatus but was again dropped for Paris 2024.

With baseball and softball a major sport in the United States, there is hope from the community that the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics will reintroduce it on the programme.